Kim Ledger and 9th Annual Heath Ledger Scholarship Recipient, Mojean Aria
At the Sunset Marquis Hotel, West Hollywood this evening Mojean Aria was announced as the 9th Annual Heath Ledger Scholarship recipient.
“Heath is such a huge inspiration for all of us actors and so many people looked up to him. Just to be connected with Heath Ledger and being able to have this platform, it is a dream come true.” Mojean Aria, The 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship recipient
2017 marks the third year the talented Sydney born, LA based actor has applied, and been short-listed for the prestigious scholarship. In 2016 Aria played Jake LaMotta, the lead in The Bronx Bull, a part first made famous by Robert De Niro in the classic Raging Bull. This film is based on the story of the legendary boxing champion.
Carrie, I LOVE Dick, Boys Don’t Cry Director and one of this year’s judges, Kimberly Peirce: “I’ve long been a fan of the extraordinary talent coming out of Australia and always look to Australia when I cast TV and Film, having cast Abbie Cornish in her first US role! [And I taught at NIDA]. It was an incredible experience and a great privilege watching all these stunning young Australian actors. Mojean’s work is rich, nuanced, precise, beautiful, authentic, emotive and fierce. I hope the scholarship provides him the necessary support and tools to explore his talent and interests, develop his craft and further his career here in Hollywood and wherever it takes him.”
Kim Ledger, AiF President Kate Marks, Kate Ledger, 2017 Heath Ledger Recipient Mojean Aria, Sally Bell, Ashleigh Bell and AiF Chairman Simonne Overend
AiF Board member and sister of the late actor Heath Ledger, Kate Ledger: “I am so proud to see the HLS evolve over the past 9 years to become what it has today. The scholarship provides a launch pad for emerging actors to help forge their international careers in Hollywood. We wish Mojean all the best and are excited to watch him grow and develop as an artist.”
Aria will obtain a USD$10,000 cash fund, private acting tuition from the Lisa Robertson and Nancy Banks Acting Studio, 2 Qantas return flights to LA, a 7-day Californian trip from Visit California, USD$5,000 worth of visa and immigration services from Raynor and Associates, Business Management and Australian/US Taxation advice from the Protea Group, US$5,000 Rent assistance, USD1000.00 transportation credit to get around LA. The Scholarship also includes mentorship from professionals in the industry and a lifestyle package (Training Mate gift card, Yoga Works 3 month voucher and more).
This year’s judging panel included Naomi Watts (Birdman, The Impossible, King Kong), Ryan Murphy (Writer |Producer|Director: Fued, American Horror Story, Glee,) Gary Oldman (Actor: The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Bruna Papandrea (Producer: Big Little Lies, Wild, Gone Girl) Kimberly Peirce (Director: Carrie, Boys Don’t Cry), Emile Sherman (Producer: Lion, The King’s Speech), Jacqueline McKenzie,(actor The Water Diviner, Desperate Housewives) Gregor Jordan (Director: Two Hands, Ned Kelly) and Ronna Kress (Casting Director: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Fault in Our Stars, Deadpool).
Benefactors to the program include 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.
We would like to thank our sponsors Visit California, Qantas, ausfilm, Screenwise and Penfolds.