More preview sessions this week.

For those who missed out on the previews tonight there are also advance screenings showing in NSW through Event Cinemas. See the details here.

If listening to vinyl and drinking local craft beers is more your speed, catch the film at the Classic Cinema in Elsternwick, Melbourne. They are also running previews starting on Friday 19th in the afternoon. Click here for session times.

The shows I mentioned in the last post are also continuing-see below and enjoy.

There are preview sessions this Wednesday 17th at Village Cinemas in Victoria and Tassie. Tickets are limited. Link to the Village sessions here.

Palace Cinemas are also running advance screenings from Friday December 19. For sessions times click here.

One of the local faves, the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, is also running previews from Friday December 19th. See details here.

The film opens nationally on December 26th.

See The Water Diviner first at previews this week

Be ahead of the crowd and catch The Water Diviner before everyone else.

There are preview sessions this Wednesday 17th at Village Cinemas in Victoria and Tassie. Tickets are limited. Link to the Village sessions here.

Palace Cinemas are also running advance screenings from Friday December 19. For sessions times click here.

One of the local faves, the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, is also running previews from Friday December 19th. See details here.

The film opens nationally on December 26th.

Margaret and David review The Water Diviner

For years I have watched Margaret and David (for OS friends who don’t know them click here), seeing them dissect and debate, enthuse and rhapsodise, and wondering if I would ever see something I was involved in on their program. This week, while I was in Istanbul for the premiere so I didn’t see it go to air, they reviewed The Water Diviner in their very last show. So I just snuck in. After 11 years of scribbling in the dark, Margaret and David are calling it a day with their iconic program “At the Movies”. They have been our passionate guides as well as staunch ambassadors and advocates for Australian film and will be missed. See you guys and thank you.

On twitter my favourite farewell message to them was from Alicia Paterson: Last #AtTheMovies tonight. Like being at a wedding reception, having fun, but wondering if the happy couple really made the right decision.

Russell Crowe paid tribute to them also, saying, “I love watching your show. I love how passionate you are about film. You’ve given so much … and I want to thank you.”

Margaret and David’s review of The Water Diviner can be seen here.

The Water Diviner novel in stores tomorrow.

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The Water Diviner book hits the bookstores tomorrow, December 9. Written by myself and my wife, Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios, and published by Pan Macmillan, it is based on the original screenplay that Andrew Knight and I penned together. It’s available at all major booksellers, and online – here, here and here, to name a few. And it’s also being released as an eBook through Amazon, which you can order here.

It has been quite humbling and a bit overwhelming to attend the premieres in Australia and Turkey and see the response to our story, that had its origins in a handful of words scribbled in a letter nearly 100 years ago. We have just heard some exciting news about the audiobook being produced by Bolinda Publishing. Aussie Icon and living national treasure, Jack Thompson (check out his film credits!), is narrating the book and it will be in-store for the release of the film on Boxing Day. Russell Crowe’s first acting job was on a great Australian TV series called Spyforce, with Jack Thompson, and then many years later they did The Sum of Us together so it feels serendipitous that Jack is doing the audiobook.

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The back blurb reads: “Constantinople, 1919. Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer, arrives in Turkey to fulfill a pledge made on his wife’s grave – to find the bodies of their three sons, lost in battle at Gallipoli, and bring them home. In the enemy city Connor meets Orhan, a mischievous Turkish boy, and his mother Ayshe, who is struggling to keep her family hotel afloat and rebuild her life after the war. Connor can trace life-giving water under the earth, but finding his sons at Gallipoli seems impossible when faced with the gruesome landscape of sun-bleached bones and rotting uniforms. But a Turkish officer gives the broken father hope where there was none – Connor’s eldest son may still be alive. As Connor risks his life travelling into the heart of Anatolia one question haunts him: If his son is alive why hasn’t he come home?”

Son Umut (The Water Diviner) premieres in Istanbul in spectacular style

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The venue was spectacular. The crowd was enormous – dressed “dark and chic” as the invitation requested. The cameras flashed, the Jameson and Beefeater flowed and the air buzzed with anticipation.

Me on the red stairs

On the red stairs

Son Umut electronic banner

Son Umut electronic banner

When the stars appeared in front of the velvet curtain at the Zorlu Centre’s main theatre, a venue usually reserved for large scale musicals and opera, the crowd erupted in spontaneous applause. “Let’s push ‘play’ and get on with it” said Russell Crowe and we were away.

The cast take the stage in Istanbul

The cast take the stage in Istanbul

Throughout the film all around me I could hear sniffling and sobbing, followed by gasps, and plenty of laughter. There was a round of applause for Cem Yilmaz’ on-screen toast to Kemal Ataturk, the much-loved father of the Turkish nation.

The guests dressed "black and chic"

The guests dressed “black and chic”

When the final credits ran and the lights came up the crowd stood on their feet and turned to Russell, Yilmaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz, Olga Kurylenko and producer Andrew Mason and applauded wildly. Muzaffer Yildirim, head of Mars, the distributor of Son Umut (The Water Diviner) in Turkey put on a spectacular show and has every reason to be smiling this morning.

Here is video of some of the highlights from SonDakika.com in Turkey.

One hour until the Istanbul Premiere of The Water Diviner

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The red carpet has been rolled out at Istanbul’s spectacular Zorlu Centre for the Turkish premiere of The Water Diviner. The film is called “Son Umut” or “Last Hope”, in Turkey. I’ll post some snapshots later but here is the Turkish trailer which is slightly different to the Australian one and features Turkish stars Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz, along with Russell Crowe and Olga Kurylenko.

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Some photos from the Sydney and Melbourne premieres… And AACTA nominations.

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That was quite a buzz. For those of you who are interested, here are a few iPhone photos from the red carpet in Sydney and Melbourne. Russell and Universal certainly know how to throw a party! Now it’s off to the premiere in Istanbul on Friday night. The extremely positive response of the Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Resa Keskintepe, to the film on Tuesday night bodes well for its reception in Turkey. Looking forward to it.

For those of you in Australia, there are links here and here to interviews with Russell and other cast members including Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney and Yilmaz Erdogan.

In other news, The Water Diviner has been nominated for eight AACTA awards, including extremely well deserved nods for Russell as lead actor, and Jacqueline McKenzie and Yilmaz Erdogan for best supporting actress and actor respectively. The outstanding work done by Tess Schofield in Costume Design and Chris Kennedy for Production Design has also been recognised. Oh, and Andrew Knight and I have been nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category.

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The crowds building outside the State Theatre from the windows of the QT Hotel.

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Andrew Anastasios on the red carpet

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Andrew Anastasios and Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios with the brilliant Jacqueline McKenzie (Eliza Connor in ‘The Water Diviner’)

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Andrew Anastasios and Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios on the red carpet at the Sydney Premiere with the eminently elegant Olga Kurylenko in the background.

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Cast and crew photo at the Sydney Premiere.

WD cast and crew pic.

Cast and crew photo from Hoyts retweeted by Russell.

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Olga Kurylenko

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With Andrew Knight at the Melbourne Premiere

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The Rivoli Cinemas

The Water Diviner World Premiere Tomorrow

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I’m officially excited now with the World Premiere of our film only one day away, at the State Theatre in Sydney. The Melbourne is the night after at the Rivoli in Camberwell, and then Istanbul on Friday the 5th December. I’m really looking forward to returning to Istanbul this week, this time with the film completed.

Russell and Yilmaz Erdogan have been out talking to press all day today. The Herald Sun covers Russell bringing his sons to the premiere here, Russell speaks to Triple M Sydney here and both stars have a chat on Channel 7’s Sunrise show here.

Russell Crowe and Yilmaz Erdogan on Sunrise this morning

Early risers might have seen Russell and Yilmaz Erdogan, the Turkish star who plays Major Hasan in The Water Diviner, on Channels Seven’s Sunrise show this morning. They spoke about their experiences shooting in the extreme heat in South Australia, and the significance of Gallipoli-Canakkale to Australians and Turks. It was Yilmaz’ first ever interview in English and he charmed them. For those us who are not so early risers there is this link.

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