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  • Tuesday, May 09, 2017 6:42 PM | Sarah Noye-Davies (Administrator)


    Mojean Aria, 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship Finalist

    For Mojean Aria, 2017 marks the third year he’s applied and been shortlisted for the Heath Ledger Scholarship, a significant achievement in it’s own right. This talented actor has been drawing attention to his acting chops since pre-school days however and even participated in the adult classes at NIDA as a fourteen year old. Now based in Los Angeles, Mojean has already landed his first big budget film role playing a young Jake LaMotta in The Bronx Bull, a part first made famous by Robert De Niro in the classic Raging Bull.

    AiF:     Where do you call home right now?

    MA:     I made the move to the U.S. a few years ago and live in Koreatown in Los Angeles, which is such a great area. I am originally from Sydney though.

    AiF:     When did the acting bug first bite you and you knew it was your calling?

    MA:     From a very young age! Back when I was kindergarten one of my teachers told my Mum that my personality would be really suitable to acting and it’s just always felt like home for me my entire life. I have immigrant parents and there were certainly times growing up in Australia, during the Cronulla riots for example, when it felt hard to find other like-minded people to be around. But acting classes were such great escape for me and it was wonderful to feel so free and at home with other creative and sensitive people.

    AiF:     What inspires you in life?

    MA:     I am really inspired by movement and martial arts and train almost every day. I love the focus on breathing and control and movement and find that there’s such a lovely correlation between this form of training and the arts.

    AiF:     Who are your favorite actors and/or filmmakers and why do they resonate with you?

    MA:     [Laughs] That is the toughest question on the planet for me! Mainly because I like to take pieces from so many incredible artists but the one person whose arc speaks to me the most is Montgomery Clift. He was a film and stage actor renowned for his sensitive and vulnerable portrayals and for me he was just all heart and such an inspiration in that regard.

    AiF:     What work are you most proud of creating so far in your career?

    MA:     There are two very different projects so far that I’m most proud of – my first big budget feature film The Bronx Bull, based on the story of legendary boxing champion Jake LaMotta, was an incredible experience. I played the lead in the first half of the film so there was lots of pressure and a really intense training schedule in the lead-up to production but I learnt so much. And secondly is the human rights film Aban & Khorshid in which I played a gay Iranian character who was hanged for simply being in love. I originally turned the part down but after meeting with the director it was just too beautiful and compelling a story to turn down. Part of the purpose of my work as an actor is to speak for people who can’t and it was of the most fulfilling artistic experiences of my life. I am so proud the film was screened at the United Nations Council to support human rights as well as winning the American Filmmaker Award at Cannes and the Best of the Festival Award at Palm Springs.

    AiF:     How are you hoping your career will unfold in the years to come?

    MA:     I am truly obsessed with human behavior and how we’re all evolving in so many new ways right now and I believe it’s time for the acting profession – one of the world’s oldest – to evolve in much more spiritual, enlightened ways too. I think this was very much where Heath was heading with his own career actually…as artists it’s really important for us to be consciously aware of taking acting to that new level and I see myself being pivotal in that evolution.

    AiF:     When did you first hear about the Heath Ledger Scholarship and make the decision to enter?

    MA:     I remember hearing about the Scholarship not too long after Heath passed away but always thought it was for very raw and undiscovered Aussie actors. Anyway, a few years ago I saw the list of finalists and was so excited to know so many names on the list so thought I should give it a go. This is my third year applying and my third year as a finalist too so I’m hoping it will be a case of three times a charm!

    AiF:     What does California represent for you in terms of your dreams, aspirations and goals in life?

    MA:     Los Angeles to me represents one big studio and a place where everyone comes to realize their dreams or find themselves…or ideally both at the same time! It’s one of the most unique places in the world and such a cultural hotspot that has reach and influence over pretty much the entire world. I love that L.A. remains such a big creator of commercial cinema and believe we should be making art for the masses.

    AiF:     What are your favorite parts of California and what makes them so appealing?

    MA:     I love that I can be in Los Angeles then drive two hours and be somewhere entirely different and very spiritual like Joshua Tree National Park or Big Bear. And then there’s the diversity of the areas within the city itself like the cool, arty elements of Downtown L.A. or the iconic Beverly Hills where you can see the most intense phase of where our culture has evolved.

    AiF:     What would it mean to you if you won the Heath Ledger Scholarship for 2017?

    MA:     It would mean so much for so many different reasons and would truly tie everything together for me right now. Coincidentally I met Heath when I was only eleven or twelve years old at a Fox Studios screening of one of his films in Sydney – I remember being so captured by his energy and aura and sensitivity during the Q&A session and it inspired me to focus on pursuing an acting career and embracing the sensitive side of myself.

    Heath Ledger Scholarship 2017 presenting partners are Qantas, Visit California, Screenwise and Ausfilm. 

    AiF would also like to thank Penfolds and Kate Raynor & Associates, official Immigration law partner.

  • Thursday, April 20, 2017 7:48 AM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    Screenwise Australia's Leading Film & TV School for Actors

    Extends Multi-Year Funding for the Heath Ledger Scholarship

    Screenwise's Denise Roberts (Center) with Cody Fern, 2014 HLS Recipient, Kim Ledger, 

    Ashleigh Cummings, 2016 HLS Recipient and Oliver Ackland, 2009 HLS Recipient 

    at the Heath Ledger Scholarship dinner on June 1st 2016

    Screenwise, Australia's Leading Film and TV School for Actors, and long-running sponsor of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, is continuing it's commitment as one of the Presenting Partners and financial contributors of Australia's most prestigious acting scholarship.

    Denise Roberts, Principal Director and CEO of Screenwise, said "The Heath Ledger Scholarship is so dear to so many peoples' hearts and really is an incredible, potentially life-changing opportunity for a young Australian actor.

    "AiF has grown dramatically over the past two years and it's wonderful to see the evolution. I visited the AiF creative workspace at Raleigh Studios the last time I was in Los Angeles and it has such an inspiring energy about it. Screenwise is excited to support AiF's continued growth as it helps young and emerging Australian actors achieve their goals." Denise said.

    Kate Marks, AiF President, said: "Screenwise, led by the incredible Denise Roberts, has been a wonderful and generous partner of the Heath Ledger Scholarship over the years and we are thrilled she has signed this new multi-year commitment. "This partnership provides AiF the necessary funds to provide opportunities for recipients of the Scholarship to further their skills as an actor. On behalf of the AiF Board, we sincerely thank Denise and Screenwise," Kate said.

    Applications for the Heath Ledger Scholarship have just closed, with the ten finalists announced in May 2017. The winner of the scholarship will be announced in front of members of the Ledger family in Los Angeles on June 1st 2017.

    Screenwise was established with the purpose of providing specialist, career-focused training in acting for film & television. Overseen by multi-award winning actress Denise Roberts (Schapelle, The Moodys, Cliffy, Mrs Biggs, Packed To The Rafters, Blood Brothers, Razzle Dazzle, Always Greener, GP) the school is inspired by the tenacious, dedicated and professional nature of the 'Roberts Method' upon which it is based.

    The school employs the crème de la crème of industry professionals - award-winning actors, directors and casting consultants - providing students with the rare opportunity to network and train closely with accomplished and experienced filmmakers who define what it means to have a practical and rewarding career in the film and television Industry.

    Screenwise attracts students from around Australia and the globe, including current Heath Ledger Scholarship recipient Ashleigh Cummings and high profile actors including Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas and Yvonne Strahovski.

    Further information about Screenwise can be found by visiting: screenwise.com.au

    Further information about Australians in Film and the 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship can be found at: www.australiansinfilm.org/heathledgerscholarship


  • Monday, April 17, 2017 10:56 AM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR PROGRAM RUNNING 8 MAY - 3 JULY

    The Australians in Film Writers Room is an eight-week program led by screenwriter, playwright and writing mentor Richard Barrett, designed to give emerging writers the opportunity to refine their craft and provide them with the necessary tools to workshop and make progress on their scripts, whether for television, film or the web.

    The room is limited to eight writers who meet weekly on Monday evenings at AiF members' workspace, The Creative Collective at Raleigh Studios, to workshop their material. Writers will work with several partners over the course of the eight-week period to gain various perspectives.

    We will be holding another Writers Group in September, 2017.

    At the end of each session, each writer will have clear direction of what to work on before the next meeting. The meetings aim also to serve as a support group to help motivate, educate and prepare our fellow Aussie writers to break into the competitive screenwriting industry.

    Writers Room News

    Two writers - Joe Osborn (Cured) and Davina Willett (South of the 10) previous alumni from The Writer's Room were finalists in this year's Gateway-LA script development competition. Davina also won the Best TV pilot with South of the 10 at the LA Femme Film Festival.

    Address: AiF's Creative Hub, - Raleigh Studios, Suite B134 - 650 N Bronson Avenue.

    Please do not apply unless you are reasonably certain that you can attend the following schedule:

    Monday, 8th May

    Monday 15th May

    Monday 22nd May

    Monday 5th June

    Monday 12th June

    Monday 19th June

    Monday 26th June

    Monday 3rd July - A Writer's Room alumni guest speaker and networking drinks.

     

    Applications will close Friday, April 28, 2017 at 5PM PDT

    The program is open to current Australians in Film INDUSTRY Members only.

    Not a member? Join here


  • Friday, April 07, 2017 2:07 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

     

    With the support of Screen NSW and Screen Australia, AFTRS graduate (2014) Cyna Strachan attended SxSW for the first time this year for the international premiere of her dramatic short Adult. Written and directed by Jamieson Pearce and co-produced by Liam Heyen - who Cyna met at AFTRS - Adult was one of only 17 films selected from over 3500 submissions in SxSW's Narrative Short Section, and one of the four Australian films screened at the festival this year.

    For Rosie Lourde, who was on Screen Producers Australia's "Ones to Watch" list in 2015 and recipient  of the prestigious Screen NSW Emerging Producer Placement in 2015, SxSW served as an educational mission on the emerging genre of Virtual Reality (VR). The Festival also provided Rosie with numerous opportunities to further develop her current VR project Breach, a 6 x 10 min VR series produced through the Screen NSW 360 Vision initiative and created in partnership with Sydney-based VR production company The Pulse. 

    "Working in VR it was invaluable to be in the room with the current leading practitioners at SxSW and hear them debate the industry landscape and where they think it's all headed," Rosie says. "With the technology and practices evolving so quickly, it's hard to keep up. To be able to connect directly with some of the people shaping the industry, hear about what drives them and experience the latest projects (those programmed and some not) was vital in not only framing how I see my own work but in inspiring how I want to participate in the development of the medium."

    Ironically, it wasn't until after the Festival had concluded and both producers were in residence at Charlie's back in Los Angeles that they met for the first time. "It's so hard to find other people at these sorts of big festivals and conferences," Rosie says. "So it was such a random and lovely coincidence that we both happened to be at SxSW and Charlie's at the same time!

    "I was actually the very first person to be in residence at Charlie's the week it opened and remember the guys from Screen NSW being so excited to get me in. So it's been really lovely coming back after all this time and seeing so many wonderful additions to the space, and meeting some of the other members," Rosie says.

    According to Cyna, Charlie's proved a welcome and productive home away from home during what marked her first ever trip to Los Angeles. "Working from Charlie's has been a great way to recharge and refocus after SxSW, and collect my learnings as well as follow up on some contacts I made at the Festival," she says.

    "I've been able to sit down and get budgets, schedules and creative material done for a few short films and projects I'm planning to shoot when I get back to Sydney in a beautiful, focused environment. It has also given me the opportunity to meet people - including everyone from Australians in Film - which is really important to me as I'm still very early in my career. And it's my first time in L.A. so it's been important having a base and somewhere to work from as it can be an overwhelming city," Cyna says.

    As a producer, Cyna draws on her background and studies in music, art and design in her approach to filmmaking and has worked on productions for a range of commercial, television and film projects to date. She has also successfully crowd-funded and financed a number of short films and produced multiple music videos in collaboration with other emerging filmmakers.

    As 2017 unfolds, Cyna's focus is on the continued promotion of Adult - the film received the Best Director Award at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the Sydney Queer Film Festival as well as inclusion at the Brisbane Queer Film Festival 2017, Toronto Inside Out Festival 2017 and St Kilda 2017. Further information about Adult can be found on the film's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/adultshortfilm

    The rest of the year is shaping up to be just as busy for Rosie too - she is currently working on a number of other projects in addition to Breach including Torn, a 10 x half hour TV drama series created with Julie Kalceff and developed through Screen Australia's Gender Matters initiative; and supporting season 5 of the international multi platform drama series Starting From Now in which she stars as well as producing. The recipient of this year's IAWTV Diversity Award at the 2017 HollyWeb Festival, further information about Starting From Now can be found at  www.youtube.com/user/startingfromnowtv1

    Funded by Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, AFTRS and Film Victoria, Charlie's is based at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles and was specifically built by AiF for Australian creatives visiting and working in Los Angeles.

    AiF also welcomes American and international film and television industry professionals and companies to become members and recently celebrated the soft opening of its newest workspace The Creative Collective. Located below Charlie's at Raleigh Studios, The Creative Collective serves as a member's only workspace and the venue for AiF's industry and education panels. The venue will open officially in May with bookings for the space being taken now.

     For further information, please contact Isabel on 323 433 1464 or membership@australiansinfilm.org


  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:00 AM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    Headlining the list of judges for 2017 are: Naomi Watts (Birdman, The Impossible, 21 Grams and Mulholland Drive), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Sid & Nancy), Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe award-winning executive producer, writer and director, Ryan Murphy (Feud, American Crime Story, Glee, American Horror Story); producer Bruna Papandrea (Gone Girl, Wild, Big Little Lies and upcoming The Nightingale); Oscar-winning producer Emile Sherman (The Kings Speech, Lion, Top of the Lake and upcoming Mary Magdalene); executive producer, director, writer Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry, Stop- Loss, Carrie and upcoming Jill Soloway's series I Love Dick); director Gregor Jordon (Two Hands, Ned Kelly and the upcoming Tim Winton's Dirt Music), actress Jacqueline McKenzie (The Water Diviner, Without a Trace, NCIS: Los Angeles) and EVP Feature Casting, 20th Century Fox Ronna Kress (Deadpool, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pirates of Caribbean).

    'Heath Ledger was one of the top actors of his generation. I am grateful and honored to be asked by AiF and the Ledger family to be on the judging panel for this year's scholarship. I am excited to see some of the new and remarkable young acting talent coming out of Australia right now', commented Ryan Murphy. 

    It was also announced that Susie Dobson, the founder of the scholarship and casting director Ann Fay, one of the original judges, would join Kim Ledger as Official Patrons of the scholarship. 

    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.

    This year the recipient will be awarded a complete package of education, training, living and lifestyle support which includes  two return Qantas economy airfares from Australia to Los Angeles, a USD$10,000 cash fund, $5,000 rent assistance in Los Angeles, a $1,000 LA ride-sharing app credit, VIP tickets to film festivals in Los Angeles and California, a 7-day Californian trip from Visit California, group acting classes and personal coaching from Lisa Robertson Acting Studio and Nancy Banks, immigration services from Kate Raynor Associates, business management and US/Australian taxation advice from Protea Group International, Kitchen package from Breville, AiF membership including access to the creative workspace, Charlie's + Creative Collective at Raleigh Studios, personal mentoring from HLS Chair Felicity Price and committee member Damon Herriman, yoga classes from Yogaworks and gym classes from Trainingmate.

    Kate Ledger, sister of Heath and AiF Board member added: “The objective of the scholarship is to ‘smooth the way’ and ‘open doors’ allowing the recipient to focus all their energy and efforts on getting work.” “It’s such a thrill to diversify casting in Hollywood and we encourage everyone to apply”.

    Applications are open until Tuesday 4th April at 6pm (PST) 

    The 2017 Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship Presenting Partners are: Qantas, Visit California, AusFilm, Screenwise Film TV School for Actors and NIXCo.

    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, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Nicole Kidman.

    ABOUT QANTAS

    Qantas is Australia's largest domestic and international airline connecting Australians to the world in comfort, style and ease. It is widely regarded as one of the world's most respected full-service airlines and one of the strongest brands in Australia, with an outstanding reputation for excellence in safety, customer service, operational efficiency and technical innovation. The Qantas network spans 46 countries across Australia, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa. The US is one of Qantas's most popular routes, with its first Trans-Pacific flight taking place in 1954 to San Francisco.

    ABOUT VISIT CALIFORNIA 

    Visit California is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs in partnership with the state's travel industry that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, travel and tourism expenditures total $106.4 billion annually in California, support jobs for 917,000 Californians and generate $6.6 billion in state and local tax revenues. 

    ABOUT SCREENWISE

    Screenwise - Australia's Leading Film TV School for Actors - provides specialist, career-focused training in acting for the screen by employing the creme de la creme of industry professionals - award-winning actors, directors casting consultants who are articulate and inspirational teachers. Overseen by Denise Roberts, Screenwise offers full-time and part-time intensive creative and technical screen acting programs which are up-to-date with Australian and International film industry standards. Screenwise continues to be at the forefront of acting education nationally and internationally offering the very best the industry has to offer. The school is committed to producing Screen Actors of the highest international calibre who understand the importance of their profession and the responsibility that comes with it. www.screenwise.com.au 

    ABOUT AUSFILM 

    Ausfilm promotes Australia's Federal Screen Production Incentive Scheme, locations and capabilities to assist international filmmakers and studios to make their productions in Australia. Ausfilm is an Australian industry-government partnership. It comprises Australia's federal and state governments, the major studios, production service providers and leading post, sound, music and visual effects facilities. Ausfilm has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney. For more information visit www.ausfilm.com 

    ABOUT NIXCO 

    NIXCo is Australia's leading independent film and entertainment PR agency, established in 1998 by company director Fiona Nix. With Fiona at the helm and over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry, the NIXCo team provide a broad range of professional public relations services to a wide spectrum of clients including Australian and international film, home entertainment and television production companies and distributors. The team also maximise the impact of events in the media landscape and offer discreet media management for talent, government bodies and corporations when it is needed. Providing individually tailored campaigns, NIXCo has vast experience in all elements of publicity, promotions and marketing and most recently, has moved to create engaging campaigns in the digital media space. For more information, email: info@nixco.com.au


  • Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:17 AM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    AIF'S HEATH LEDGER SCHOLARSHIP 2017 PRIZES ANNOUNCED

    A complete package of education, training, living, health and lifestyle prizes

    to manage and navigate life in Los Angeles

    Australians in Film are excited to announce some of the prizes that will be awarded to the winner of this year's 9th AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship.

    This year's scholarship will include, a complete package of education, training, living, health and lifestyle support in Los Angeles.

    The winner will be announced at an intimate dinner in Los Angeles on June 1st, which will be attended by members of the Ledger family.

    Applications for this year's scholarship close on Heath Ledger's birthday Tuesday, 4th April. 

     

     

    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.

    Commenting on the prizes; AiF Board member and Heath's sister Kate Ledger said; "Los Angeles is big and exciting, but definitely a challenge. What the Heath Ledger Scholarship does, and Australians in Film do in general, is help navigate the physical and emotional terrain of Hollywood."

    "California is a place where dreams are born, and also why so many Australian actors aspire to make it there" Kate continues.

    "The scholarship, with the support of our family, is expanding every year to offer a complete education, training, and lifestyle package. We want to ensure the Scholarship takes advantage of all the opportunities that Los Angeles has to offer."

    Over eight year's the scholarship has awarded over $250,000 worth of cash and prizes. 

    ABOUT QANTAS

    Qantas is Australia's largest domestic and international airline connecting Australians to the world in comfort, style and ease. It is widely regarded as one of the world's most respected full-service airlines and one of the strongest brands in Australia, with an outstanding reputation for excellence in safety, customer service, operational efficiency and technical innovation. The Qantas network spans 46 countries across Australia, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa. The US is one of Qantas' most popular routes, with its first Trans-Pacific flight taking place in 1954 to San Francisco.

    ABOUT VISIT CALIFORNIA

    Visit California is a nonprofit organisation with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs - in partnership with the state's travel industry - that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, spending by travelers totaled $117.5 billion in 2014 in California, generating 1,027,000 jobs in the state and $9.3 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor's Guide, go to www.VisitCalifornia.com.au. For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to media.visitcalifornia.com.

    ABOUT AUSFILM

    Ausfilm promotes Australia's Federal Screen Production Incentive Scheme, locations and capabilities to assist international filmmakers and studios to make their productions in Australia. Ausfilm is an Australian industry-government partnership. It comprises Australia's federal and state governments, the major studios, production service providers and leading post, sound, music and visual effects facilities. Ausfilm has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney. For more information visit www.ausfilm.com.

    ABOUT SCREENWISE

    Screenwise - Australia's Leading Film & TV School for Actors - provides specialist, career-focused training in acting for the screen by employing the crème de la crème of industry professionals - award-winning actors, directors & casting consultants who are articulate and inspirational teachers. Overseen by Denise Roberts, Screenwise offers full-time and part-time intensive creative and technical screen acting programs which are up-to-date with Australian and International film industry standards. Screenwise continues to be at the forefront of acting education nationally and internationally offering the very best the industry has to offer. The school is committed to producing Screen Actors of the highest international calibre who understand the importance of their profession and the responsibility that comes withit.

     www.screenwise.com.au

    ABOUT NIXCo

    NIXCo is a global arts and entertainment consultancy specialising in strategic public relations and marketing. Established in 1998 by company director Fiona Nix, who has over 25 years' experience in the entertainment industry, the team at NIXCo are skilled and dedicated PR and marketing professionals that deliver strategic, results-driven communications solutions for a wide range of clients such as Australian and international film and TV creators, screen businesses and world-renowned cultural events.


  • Tuesday, March 07, 2017 4:05 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    Photo by Frances AndrijichIt has been nine year’s since Academy award winner actor Heath Ledger passed away in New York, but Heath’s family feels that the scholarship named in the great actor’s memory is wonderful legacy and a fitting tribute to his legendary kindness, generosity and creative spirit. 

    Speaking from Perth, Heath’s sister Kate Ledger, who joined the Australians in Film board last year says; “Honestly it still feels like yesterday for me, but I feel so passionate about the industry and helping Australian actors. Working closely with AiF has been a wonderfully cathartic experience for our whole family.” 

                                 Photo by Frances Andrijich

    “Seeing the struggles that Heath went through in making the transition from Australia to the U.S. with his international career and knowing the generosity of spirit he always showed in wanting to help out his Aussie mates, it’s really important to us that we continue that legacy.” 

    Kate continues “It started really in an unofficial way with Heath helping out his fellow Aussie actors.” 

    “He was always so generous with sharing his success around – there were 30 keys to his house in Los Feliz, and everyone was welcome,” Kate recalls. 

    “He was really genuine in his desire to help his mates who he never thought of as rivals. He believed there was room for everyone and I just loved that about him.” 

    Australians in Film is continuing that tradition with the opening of Charlie’s and next month with the opening of the new member’s workspace The Creative Collective. “Australian actors coming to Los Angeles for pilot season can find the city very isolating and competitive, and AiF, following the lead of Heath’s generous spirit will be curating events and |screenings for its members to connect,” Kate says. 

    “I think that if there had been access to a network of industry people and contacts in the US at the time it would have been a great leg up for Heath” Kate says. “Leaving home at 17, driving across the Nullarbor to take that big leap into the acting world was gutsy enough, but then once establishing himself in Australia he then had to start all over again in the United States and that was a completely different ball game. It was such a monumental transition.” 

    “It’s amazing to meet these young actors that are so full of fire, energy and enthusiasm,” Kate says. “I remember the same qualities and traits in Heath when he was young. It’s exciting to watch their journeys and follow their careers. 

    On what it takes for a young actor to have career longevity in this competitive industry, Kate believes a number of very special qualities. “There are many aspiring actors around but it takes more than just talent. You have to be the complete package. “Presence, physicality, magnetism, and persistence”. 

    “One thing I distinctly remember about Heath is that his self belief never wavered,” Kate says. 

    “For a young emerging Australian actor, the Heath Ledger Scholarship is a great way to be introduced to Hollywood and the screen business.” 

    Applications for the 2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship are currently open and close on the date that was Heath’s birthday, 4 April 2017.

    For more info and to apply visit http://www.australiansinfilm.org/heathledgerscholarship

  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017 12:56 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)


    “It’s really the best internship there is because it provides such an incredible opportunity.” –

    Lauren Brown

    “The internship provides an incredible opportunity for emerging Australian screen talent to connect with, and gain invaluable experience from, some of the industry’s most cutting-edge and creative filmmakers.” –

    Kate Marks President Australians in Film

    Brisbane-based producer Lauren Brown has been announced as the recipient of the annual Village Roadshow Animal Logic Internship for 2017 and will begin her three-month tenure at the offices of Village Roadshow Pictures and Animal Logic in Los Angeles this week.

     After an intensive selection and interview process, Lauren was awarded the coveted position based on the high quality of her application and experience working on a variety of short and long form projects within the Australian film industry.

    The placement marks Lauren’s first time visiting the United States but it was a case of three times a charm for her success in securing the role this year. “The Village Roadshow Animal Logic Internship is such a rare program and I’ve applied for it three times now because it’s an opportunity that just can’t be passed up,” she says.

    “For an emerging producer like myself, it’s really the best internship there is because it provides such an incredible opportunity to be in Los Angeles working with two amazing companies, whilst also getting some really great support while I’m here.”

    Prior to her move to Los Angeles, Lauren spent a week at Animal Logic’s offices at Fox Studios in Sydney and spent time on the set of Peter Rabbit. 

    A graduate from Griffith Film School – the same school Lion (2016) producer Angie Fielder, among many others, attended – with a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media and Masters in Screen Production, Lauren has worked as an independent creative producer for the last four years in Australia. Her most recent projects include the short films Fell (2014), which screened in competition at Flickerfest in 2015, and Gentleman (2016) which is currently in the middle of its festival run.

    As well as developing her own independent projects through her company Little Red Balloon Films, Lauren has worked for Brisbane-based production company Freshwater Pictures alongside producer Trish Lake, a mentor she says has been instrumental in guiding her career to date.

    Established in 2014, the internship forms part of AiF’s mission to serve as a bridge between the U.S. and Australian screen industries and is valued at $20,000. The program also covers living and travel expenses for recipients, as well as on-the-ground support and networking opportunities with the U.S. industry and office space at AiF’s brand new workspace The Creative Collective.

    Since its inception, the program has served as an invaluable launching pad for its previous recipients with last year’s intern Melanie Jayne currently working with WME in Los Angeles, while the inaugural intern Dave Edwardz is now based in London as a Previz Supervisor at The Third Floor Inc.

    Commenting on the success of the program, Kate Marks, President of Australians in Film said, “The internship provides an incredible opportunity for emerging Australian screen talent to connect with, and gain invaluable experience from, some of the industry’s most cutting-edge and creative filmmakers. We are thrilled for Lauren and look forward to supporting her as she embarks on this exciting new chapter in her career.”

    AiF would like to sincerely thank Village Roadshow Pictures and Animal Logic for their ongoing support of this invaluable program and wish Lauren all the best as she begins her tenure.


  • Monday, November 07, 2016 5:12 PM | Anonymous


    Abbie Cornish is set to star opposite John Krasinski in Amazon's drama series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan

    The series is an adaptation of the action-packed spy thriller book series by American novelist Tom Clancy. 

    Unfolding over 10 episodes, the series follows Jack Ryan (Krasinski), an up-and-coming CIA analyst thrust into a dangerous field assignment for the first time. He uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale.

    Cornish will play Jack Ryan's love interest, Cathy Mueller, a medical doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.

    Filming will take place next year in the U.S., Africa and Europe. 

  • Sunday, November 06, 2016 7:32 PM | Anonymous


    Jai Courtney is set to star opposite Amy Poehler in Netflix comedy series Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. 

    The eight-episode series is a sequel to Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, which was based on Michael Showalter and David Wain's 2001 cult hit movie 'Wet Hot American Summer'.

    The story takes play 10 years after the 2001 film and Courtney will play Garth MacArthur, a suave, indie movie actor on the rise. 

    Courtney joins an all star cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Molly Shannon, Lake Bell, Kristen Wiig, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Janeane Garofalo and others.

    Wain returns to helm the new series from scripts he co-wrote with Showalter.

    AiF honored Courtney last month with the Breakthrough Award. Check out photos from our exclusive event here

    Congrats, Jai!


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

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