Australians in Film is pleased to announce the finalists of the prestigious 2015 AiF HEATH LEDGER SCHOLARSHIP, which fosters the education and career development of emerging Australian actors within the United States.
The recipients of the seventh annual scholarship, including a main prize winner and two runners up, will be announced on Monday, June 1st at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles, with the winner in attendance.
The 2015 finalists are: Mojean Aria (Hybrids), David Berry (A Place to Call Home), Shareena Clanton (Wentworth), Emilie Cocquerel (An Accidental Soldier), Ashleigh Cummings (Puberty Blues, Gallipoli, Galore), Taylor Ferguson (The Turning, Strangerland), James Fraser (Devil’s Playground, Deadline Gallipoli, The Water Diviner), Reef Ireland (Puberty Blues, Wentworth), Joel Jackson (Deadline Gallipoli, Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door), Travis Jeffrey (Unbroken, Gallipoli), Matt Levett (A Place to Call Home, Devil’s Playground), Brandon McClelland (Anzac Girls), Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood (A Place to Call Home), Jordan Patrick Smith (Neighbours, Unbroken, Banished), Adele Perovic (The Code), TJ Power (Underbelly, The Sapphires, The Little Death), Harry Richardson (Looking for Grace), Millie Samuels (The Gods of Wheat Street, Around the Block), Lily Sullivan (Mental, Puberty Blues, Galore) and Geraldine Viswanathan (Dysfunktion). Reef Ireland, Ashleigh Cummings, Millie Samuels, James Fraser and TJ Power have all been Heath Ledger Scholarship finalists in previous years, which is testament to their talent and increasing profiles.
Since its inception in 2008, the HLS Finalists’ List has emerged as an important international and local industry reference tool for highlighting Australian talent to watch. The scholarship was established in honour of the late Academy Award® winner, Heath Ledger, and aims to provide a bridge for actors who have achieved a level of success in Australia, to establish themselves as working actors in the United States. It is an exciting and ultimately life-changing opportunity for the finalists, often boosting their profile with agents and managers in America and introducing them to a network of professionals who can support them throughout their career.
Check out what Heath Ledger Scholarship winners Cody Fern, James Mackay and Anna McGahan, and recent runner up, Charlotte Best, have to say about the scholarship:
The primary recipient will receive two return flights to Los Angeles on Virgin Australia; including attendance at the announcement ceremony and a second flight when they are ready to break the market in LA, a two year scholarship at Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in Los Angeles, a 7-day California trip from Visit California, $5,000 worth of Visa and Immigration services from Raynor & Associates, a complimentary lifetime membership to StarNow and $10,000 cash, affording the winner the opportunity to establish themselves in the heart of the entertainment industry.
Two runners up will receive a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles courtesy of Virgin Australia where they can profile themselves in the US market and network to gain opportunities to further their careers internationally, and new for 2015, a scholarship to attend Masterclasses at Screenwise Film & TV School for actors in Sydney.
Kim Ledger, Heath’s father and Patron of the Heath Ledger Scholarship program said, “This is the seventh remarkable year of the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship and as with every year, the entries have been extraordinary. I want to personally wish everyone who has been selected as a finalist the very best of luck in the lead up to the awards.”
"I have been privileged to spend time with last year’s wonderful recipient Cody Fern and learn of his amazing new journey and wish the winner this year, a similar experience," Ledger added.
Benefactors to the program include the Ledger family, Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Alex O'Loughlin, Liam Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Phil Noyce and Baz Luhrmann.
Applications for the 7th Annual Heath Ledger Scholarship are closed.
Information on the 2016 scholarship, including judging panel and criteria, will be made available next year.
AiF's Agency of Record
Sign up to receive updates on the Heath Ledger Scholarship straight to your inbox