Russell Crowe’s new movie “The Water Diviner” is a script written by Greek screenwriter Andrew Anastasios

Russell Crowe will direct The Water Diviner


While he’s currently starring on screen in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” Russell Crowe will soon be going behind the camera for his directorial debut.

Over the years, the Oscar-winning actor has considered a number of projects for his first time at the helm, including the WWII pic “The Long Green Shore,” a Bill Hicks biopic, the James Ellroy adaptation “77” and the surfing drama “Bra Boys.” However, it now seems that “The Water Diviner,” scripted by Australian television writing duo Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios, will be the one for which Crowe will make his debut as a director, according to Deadline.

“The Water Diviner” will take the Australian actor back to his country’s roots. The film is set in 1919 and centers on an Australian father traveling to Turkey in order to find his two sons, who have gone missing after the battle of Gallipoli. It also appears that Crowe will not only be directing, but looking to star in the drama, presumably in the role of the father.

After “Man of Steel,” we won’t be seeing Crowe until next year when he stars in Akiva Goldsman’s “Winter’s Tale” and in the title role of Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.”

“The Water Diviner” is expected to begin shooting in Australia and Turkey later this year. Hopscotch Features’ Troy Lum and Andrew Mason and Fear of God Films’ Keith Rodger will produce. To read more on the project, head over to the screenwriters’ official website by clicking HERE.

What are your thoughts on Russell Crowe set to make his directorial debut with “The Water Diviner”?

Russell Crowe and Ryan Corr on THE WATER DIVINER.

Russell Crowe with Ryan Corr on the set of The Water Diviner. Photo: Mark Rogers

This is a not a war story, says Russell Crowe. It’s a story about fathers and sons. He is on set, in the middle of shooting his directing debut, The Water Diviner, a tale of loss and discovery, of lives affected by the battle of Gallipoli.

Yet – apart from flashbacks – most of it takes place in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I. Crowe talks about Peter Weir’s film Gallipoli, and how it ends with a freeze-frame of a soldier caught in the moment of death. ”This is what happens afterwards, in a funny sort of way,” he says. ”To the people back home, the father and mother of the kid that got shot.”

Most of it, however, is set outside Australia. Crowe, who stars as well as directs, plays Connor, a man who lost three sons at Gallipoli and travels halfway across the world to reclaim their bodies. Much of the film is being shot in South Australia, including many of the Turkish scenes; the production travels to Turkey for four weeks in March. There is, Crowe is keen to point out, a strong emphasis on the Turkish perspective.

On set, Crowe looks about as busy as it’s possible for a person to be. The scenes being shot today, under a blazing sun in the red dust of the Flinders Ranges, involve a train ambush. Connor is travelling in the company of Turkish fighters; the train is ambushed by Greek troops.

Crowe is checking camera set-ups, watching rehearsals, poring over details on the monitors – everything from the angle of a falling body to the rhythm of gunfire – then leaving to play his part in the scene itself. And amid all this, he finds time to reflect on his directing debut.

The Water Diviner is written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight, and it grew out of a letter that Anastasios found in an archive, referring to a father’s visit to Turkey on just such a quest. Crowe had been looking for a script to direct, and immediately fell in love with this one.

The title of the film comes from Connor’s skill – it’s an intuitive job, Crowe says, but there’s no attempt to mystify this. There’s a line in the film, he adds wryly, in which Connor says that he’s dug a lot of wells that turned out be holes.

Casting the film, Crowe says, ”I’ve chosen actors from a like-minded tribe”. He is quick to enthuse about the performances of actors such as Steve Bastoni and Jacqueline McKenzie – ”I watched one of her scenes, and I had goosebumps and a tear in my eyes” – and to sing the praises of Turkish actors Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz, who have roles in the film.

He’s loving directing, he says, and looking forward to editing. ”Film is in my DNA, I did my first TV show at six, I’ve worked in front of the camera since I was a kid, and I’ve had access over my career to some of the greatest minds in the business.”

Greek Cyprus accuses Turkey of ‘harassment’ in energy search

NICOSIA – Agence France-Presse

Greek Cyprus said on Feb. 3 it would not accept Turkey’s “provocations” after claims a Norwegian ship was ‘harassed’ while surveying for offshore oil and gas reserves.

Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the vessel was undertaking seismic research for French oil giant Total near Blocks 10 and 11 off the south coast when a radio communication ordered it to “abandon position.”

He said the incident came at a time when the United Nations was trying to find a formula for long-stalled Cyprus peace talks to begin.

Officials said that Turkish frigate “Giresun” had ordered Norwegian seismic vessel “Princess” to “leave Turkish waters” while it was within the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The government said it would not be swayed from its aim to exploit energy riches beneath the east Mediterranean.

“Verbal provocation from Ankara does not affect us exercising our sovereignty,” government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said.

“The republic of Cyprus, with a steady confidence given it by international law, will continue its efforts to find hydrocarbons in its EEZ.” Papadopoulos said the incident happened on Feb. 1 when the Turkish warship was some 16.5 nautical miles from the research vessel, “but there was no pursuit as Turkey has alleged.”

Turkey, has reacted angrily to the Greek Cypriot-led internationally recognised government’s search for energy. Ankara has branded Nicosia’s gas hunt as illegal and begun its own exploratory drilling off the north coast.

The almost bankrupt Greek Cyprus government is hoping so far untapped offshore energy resources can pull it back from the financial brink after a banking meltdown prompted an EU-IMF bailout last March.

The eastern Mediterranean has been a hive of exploratory activity, with Greek Cyprus granting permits to international prospectors after Israel discovered massive offshore gas deposits in 2010.

U.S. firm Noble Energy made the first find off Greek Cyprus’s southeast coast in 2011 near the Israeli maritime boundary, in a test well named Aphrodite-1 after the island’s mythical goddess of love.

Based on a preliminary 4.5 trillion cubic feet assessment of reserves by Noble, the government expects a profit of $12-18 billion (9-13 billion euros) over a 14-year period.

Greek Cyprus has signed agreements with Total and a consortium between ENI of Italy and South Korea’s Kogas for oil and gas exploration in its waters. Nicosia is hoping to commercially export its gas, and maybe oil riches, by 2020.

Greek island of Kefalonia hit by second strong earthquake in a week

Kefalonia earthquake

Earthquake damage at Lixouri port on Kefalonia. Photograph: AP

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1 hit the western Greek island of Kefalonia before dawn on Monday, sending frightened residents into the streets just over a week after a similar quake damaged hundreds of buildings.

Officials said about 16 people had been slightly hurt, mainly by falling objects, while roads, homes and shops were damaged and some areas suffered power and water supply cuts. Islanders also had to contend with heavy rain and cold temperatures.

Kefalonia’s mayor, Alexandros Parisis, said the port at the island’s second largest town of Lixouri had been damaged. Images from the area showed part of the pier breaking off and boats that had been on land for repair toppling over.

Earthquakes have been rattling Kefalonia for the past week, after a 5.9-magnitude tremor struck on 26 January.

The fire department said an eight-member rescue team with a sniffer dog was heading to the island as a precaution. The public order minister, Nikos Dendias, and his ministry’s secretary general were also heading to Kefalonia to co-ordinate the response.

The defence ministry said it was sending two military transport aircraft carrying 30 personnel and three doctors as well as tents and emergency supplies, and a military ship with digging vehicles, a mobile kitchen and a water tanker.

Seismologists said more aftershocks were to be expected on the island.

Cancer now biggest killer in Australia, ahead of heart disease: WHO report



Cancer has surpassed heart disease as the biggest killer in Australia, according to a new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO’s World Cancer Report found that 8.2 million people died from cancer globally in 2012, including 40,000 Australians.

The report was last released six years ago and this is the first major international update on the disease since then.

It found that cancer surpassed heart disease as the world’s biggest killer in 2011, with 7.87 million cancer deaths compared to 7.02 million from heart disease. Stroke was considered separately.

In Australia and other Western countries, the rise in cancer cases has been attributed to ageing populations and increased screening.

Lifestyle has also been highlighted as a major factor, with the population of countries such as Australia more likely to have a poor diet, inactive lifestyles and be smokers.

Doctors predict global cancer rates will increase by three-quarters over the next two decades and they expect 20 million new cases by 2025.

Prevention is better than cure
The report says 3.7 million cancer deaths could have been avoided by lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy weight.

“About 5 per cent of all cancers is due to alcohol consumption – that’s an important part of the preventable cancer story,” said Cancer Council Australia’s Terry Slevin.

“Let’s make no bones about it, alcohol is a class one known carcinogen, it’s listed by the World Health Organisation as such.”

Research shows women’s risk of breast cancer can increase by having as little as one alcoholic drink a day. For men, the risk of tumours increases with two to three drinks a day.

WHO report quote
Lung cancer was the biggest killer globally. It was also the biggest killer among men, while breast cancer killed more women.

Mr Slevin said lung cancer was an area where treatments were less successful than other areas.

“That’s why prevention, when it comes to lung cancer, is so important,” he said.

Melanoma continued to be more of a problem in Australia than overseas, with Australians and New Zealanders twice as likely to be diagnosed than anywhere else in the world.

Worldwide there are more than 14 million cancer diagnoses each year, the report found, and it costs the world more than $1 trillion each year.

It says one-fifth of that could be avoided by investing in prevention strategies.

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