SPECIAL PREMIERE: The Crowe family offered friends and family in Coffs Harbour a pre-release viewing of The Water Diviner.
SPECIAL PREMIERE: The Crowe family offered friends and family in Coffs Harbour a pre-release viewing of The Water Diviner.

Crowe film premieres in Coffs Harbour

THE Crowe family laid out the red carpet in Coffs Harbour, as Russell's parents Alex and Jocelyn treated friends of the family to a special premiere of his directorial debut, The Water Diviner.

The acclaimed period drama, set in the aftermath of the Battle of Gallipoli and telling of a father's quest to try and locate his three missing sons, opens in Australian cinemas on Boxing Day.

Released as a tribute to the sacrifices of the Anzacs and marking the Centenary of the First World War, the Water Diviner already stands as the front runner to win at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards - and this local audience found out why.

Friends of the Nana Glen-based family were invited to the free screening, which collected donations for Legacy.

Jane Sury from Coffs Harbour Legacy said the film screening raised almost $3,000 and the funds would be used on local welfare programs supporting the families of deceased and incapacitated veterans.

"We would like to thank the Crowe family and Birch, Caroll and Coyle for their assistance in making the evening a huge success," Mrs Sury said.  

A film of fiction that's inspired by true events, The Water Diviner is based on a letter written by Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Hughes, who worked for the Imperial War Graves Unit in Turkey after the war.

Researching official correspondence from Gallipoli, Melbourne-based scribe Andrew Anastasios uncovered a line in Hughes' letter that "one old chap managed to get here from Australia, looking for his son's grave".

That "old chap" in The Water Diviner is Joshua Connor, the farmer and grief stricken father played by Crowe.

Reassessing the nation's war psyche, the film has been praised by reviewers, with one describing it "as a natural companion piece to Peter Weir's revered 1981 drama Gallipoli".

The Water Diviner again ensures its year of release will be remembered in decades to come with the final credit reading "South Sydney Rabbitohs 21st premiership you beauties".



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