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Heath Ledger Scholarship

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Following the LA premiere of documentary I Am Heath Ledger, a fundraising event for the AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship, Australians in Film announced the 2017 AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship finalists.

The Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship is awarded to an actor who exhibits distinctive and unique potential. The annual award is designed to kick-start the careers of emerging Australian actors in Hollywood and the scholarship's objective is to provide support that will help further their career.

The full list of finalist for the scholarship's ninth inception are: Dakota Shapiro (Dead Serious, The First Month, Arbiter Teaser, Daddy Issues), Daniel Monks (Marley, Someone; Go Happy Feet!, Are We Awake, Bodies), Hunter Page-Lochard (Cleverman, Around the Block, Wentworth, The Sapphires),  Mitzi Ruhlmann (Killing Ground, Boys in The Trees, Hiding, The Code, Handyman, Yardbird), Mojean Aria (Suitcase, Call of the Void, The Bronx Bull, Aban & Khorshid, Double Take), Morgan Griffin (Bad Blood, Spin Out, San Andreas, Unbroken),  Ratidzo Mambo (Glee, Moms, Blind Rage), Sam Delich (The Marshes, Gallipoli: The Power of Ten), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Thor: Ragnarok, Our Girl, Swiss Avalanche, Barracudal, Doctor Doctor), Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai, The Kettering Incident, Barracuda, Girl Asleep, 52 Tuesdays) 

'This year we have been inundated with amazingly talented applicants for the Heath Ledger Scholarship. We are thrilled to announce the 10 finalists for 2017 and wish them all the best of luck. I'd like to encourage everyone to apply in the future. The scholarship is continually evolving and expanding each year and we are excited for the forthcoming 10th year anniversary.' - Kate Ledger, Heath Ledger's sister.


AiF President Kate Marks, 2016 HLS Recipient Ashleigh Cummings, 

2009 HLS Recipient Oliver Ackland and Kate Ledger.

Last year's AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship winner, Ashleigh Cummings on receiving the award noted "Winning the Heath Ledger Scholarship has sowed such fertile soil for my growth in LA. Not only do I gain access to classes and resources from which I can expand my craft, but I receive a recognition in rooms that would have otherwise taken a lot longer to build, and I am surrounded by the most supportive and loving community at AiF." Cumming's latest film 'Hounds of Love' opens in U.S. cinemas May 12th. 

The 2017 winner will be announced on 1st June in Los Angeles, decided by a judging panel that includes Naomi Watts (Allegiant, Insurgent, Birdman), Ryan Murphy (Writer / Prducer: Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck), Gary Oldman (Actor: The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Bruna Papandrea (Producer: Big Little Lies, Wilde, Gone Girl, Milk) Kimberly Peirce (Director: Carrie, Boys Don't Cry), Emile Sherman (Producer: Lion, The King's Speech), Jacqueline McKenzie (Love Child, The Water Diviner, Romper Stomper), Gregor Jordan (Director: Unthinkable, Buffalo Soldiers, Two Hands, Ned Kelly) and Ronna Kress (Casting Director: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Fault in Our Stars, Deadpool).



Your generous donation will go directly towards the education 

and career development of emerging Australian talent and the future of Australian cinema.

Please submit your contribution via one of the PayPal buttons below.* 
You do not require a PayPal account to contribute.
The Heath Ledger Scholarship relies on the annual support of individuals, 
corporations and friends of Heath who contribute each year.
Benefactors to the program include the Ledger family, Michelle Williams, 
Rose Byrne, Vince Vaughn, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Liam Hemsworth,
Alex O'Loughlin, Deborra-Lee Furness, Phil Noyce, Baz Luhrmann,
Catherine Martin,Gregor Jordan & Nicole Kidman

Checks can be made out to The Australians in Film Foundation. 
Mailed to: Australians in Film - 11328 Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Contact the Australians in Film Foundation

Thank you for your support!

*Your donations to the Australians in Film Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, are deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. TAX ID: #462776007

Established in 2008 in memory of Australian actor Heath Ledger, who served as an ambassador for the organization, the Scholarship is open to all young and emerging Australian actors 18-35 years old. To date, $250,000 in Scholarship prizes has been awarded to help the winners with career and educational opportunities in the U.S.

Scholarship Prize

With the support our Presenting Partners, Qantas, Visit California, Ausfilm and Screenwise Film & TV School for Actors, the recipient will receive

  • Two return Qantas economy airfares from Australia to Los Angeles
  • Visit Californian 7 Day Californian trip
  • US$10,000 towards a living allowance in Los Angeles
  • US$5,000 rent assistance in Los Angeles
  • US$1,000 ride-sharing app credit to be used in Los Angeles
  • Group Acting classes and personal coaching from Lisa Robertson Studio and Nancy Banks Studio
  • Immigration services from Kate Raynor & Associates
  • Business management and US|Australian taxation advice from Protea Group International
  • Kitchen appliance package, including Juice Fountain Elite, Barista Express, Smart Oven Pro and Boss Blender from Breville
  • Yoga classes from YogaWorks
  • Gym classes from Training Mate
  • VIP tickets to Palm Springs International Film Festival & AFI Fest
  • AiF membership, which includes access to the creative workspaces, Charlie's + Creative Collective at Raleigh Studios
  • Personal mentoring by Heath Ledger Scholarship Chair Felicity Price and Committee Member Damon Herriman
  • Other vouchers from Alfred's Coffee, The Den Meditation and Cinespia, plus more to be announced.

Benefactors to the program include the The Ledger family, Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Rose Byrne, Vince Vaughn, Liam Hemsworth, Alex O'Loughlin, Deborra-Lee Furness, Phillip Noyce, Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gregor Jordan and Nicole Kidman and The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.


Last year's winner Ashleigh Cummings will be seen in the upcoming feature Pork Pie, to be released by Studiocanal on 4th May in Australia.

Previous recipients have included

MATT LEVETT - A Place to Call HomeWolf Creek TV series, Devil's Playground and The Secret Daughter.

JAMES MACKAY - Upcoming DynastyThe Dressmaker, Hacksaw Ridge and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

 RYAN CORR - Upcoming Mary Magdalene, The Water Diviner, Holding the Man, Hacksaw Ridge and a season at the Sydney Theatre Company in Arcadia.

BELLA HEATHCOTE - Dark Shadows, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to the box office record smashing Fifty Shades of Grey.

OLIVER ACKLAND - Wasted on the Young, The Proposition, and can currently be seen in the TV series The Originals.

CODY FERN - War Horse, The Last Time I Saw Richard, most recently cast in the Tribes of Palos Verdes opposite Jennifer Garner, and will also direct and star in Pisces, opposite Keir Gilchrist, produced by Nancy Grant.

ANNA MCGAHAN - Logie Award nominee who has just been announced to star in the remark of the iconic Picnic at Hanging RockAnzac Girls, House Husbands, The Doctor Blake Mysteries.


As in previous years, the 2017 judging panel will comprise influential actors, casting agents and industry executives. Past judges have included actors Toni Collette, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell, Miranda Otto, Vince Vaughn, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn and Wes Bentley, producer Basil Iwanyk, head of casting at Paramount Joseph Middleton, directors Phillip Noyce, Gregor Jordan, Catherine Hardwicke and Kieran Darcy-Smith, Head of Casting at DreamWorks Leslee Feldman, talent manager Will Ward, casting directors Nikki Barrett, Sherry Thomas and Laray Mayfield, talent agent Steve Alexander, Vice President of Feature Casting at Walt Disney Studios Randi Hiller, and former Warner Bros. President of Production Greg Silverman.

Applications for the 9th Annual Heath Ledger Scholarship are now CLOSED. 

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Australians in Film 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship 

Presenting Sponsors




Australians in Film
Raleigh Studios
5300 Melrose Avenue
Suite #B211, Bronson Bldg 
Hollywood, CA 90038

Phone: 323 433 1464



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