The Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship will be awarded to early career actors with a demonstrated achievement and dedication to their craft. Applicants should:

  • Show evidence of initiative and exceptional talent with ability to convert ambitions to reality.
  • Demonstrate their commitment to excellence, including dedication to craft.
  • Demonstrate passion for their work with potential to be outstanding in an international context.
  • Be ready to undertake activities such as (but not limited to) private and group study, mentoring and relocation to Los Angeles

The scholarship is awarded to an actor who is ready to transition to an international career or train in Los Angeles.

AiF encourages actors from under-represented members of the Australian screen sector to apply.


Timeframe of the Heath Ledger Scholarship

Applications open 4:00 PM Wednesday, September 1, 2021 (PDT), which is 9:00 AM Thursday, September 2, 2021 (AEST).

Applications close 5:00 PM Thursday September 30, 2018 (PDT), which is 10:00 AM Friday, October 1, 2021 (AEST).

The successful five finalists will be notified in late November by the AiF office in Los Angeles.

The Scholarship Recipient will be announced in early January, 2022 at a location and date TBD.


Eligibility of the Heath Ledger Scholarship

  • Applicant must be an Australian citizen or an Australian citizen living overseas.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or over at the time of application.
  • Applicants must have a current Australian passport and take responsibility for obtaining any U.S. Visas that may be required.

PLEASE NOTE: The Scholarship is not available to any Australian actor who has had (or at the time of application has) a significant role in a US movie or an ongoing or recurring role in a US network, cable or streaming TV series.


Judging of the Heath Ledger Scholarship 

A panel of judges from the Australian & U.S. film & television community including one or more leading Casting Directors (the First Round Selection Committee) will be appointed to make the selection of the five finalists from all applications successfully submitted by the closing date.

The five finalists will have one week to record an additional audition to accompany their original submission.

One Scholarship Recipient will be selected from the five finalists by leading industry creatives and talent (the Final Round Selection Committee).


Funding of the Heath Ledger Scholarship 

Australians in Film Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, underwrites the HLS Scholarship.


Application Requirements of the Heath Ledger Scholarship

Application Fee:

USD $50 per application to apply, which includes a one-year online membership to Australians in Film. Current financial AiF members will receive an additional complimentary one-year online membership. You must be signed-in to your application to submit this payment. No refunds of any kind are permitted, including for withdrawn, cancelled, disqualified or unsuccessful applications. 

(A fee waiver may be available to applicants who demonstrate financial hardship. Please email for more information).

Two (2) Written References:

Applicants are required to obtain two different references from different individuals, signed and on letterhead with contact details included. Applicants should include at least one reference from a recognized authority involved in the arts or entertainment industries. Applications submitted without the two supporting references will not be accepted.

 A recognized authority in the arts or entertainment industry includes your acting/drama teachers/coaches, heads of an acting academy, directors of films, television or stage performances you have been involved in, casting directors, accomplished cast members of a production you were directly involved in, or any persons with expertise in the arts and entertainment industry. References should be from people who can directly attest to your work ethic, how you work with others, your skills, their belief in your ability and your personality and character.

Personal Statement:

Applicants are required to write a personal statement, discussing why they deserve the Scholarship and outlining what they hope to achieve during the 12-months after receiving it.

Legacy Statement:

The Heath Ledger Scholarship recipient should mirror Heath's generous nature and his dedication to craft.​ Applicants should discuss how they would commit to the spirit of giving back.

Head Shot:

Applicant is required to submit an industry standard headshot, i.e. it must be in color, show your whole face, and must look like you.

Showreel video:

Please provide a video that best showcases your talent to support your application. This video should be no longer than two minutes long. This could be a reel, a scene, a monologue or any creative piece that you feel conveys your best talents. All judges are instructed not to view any footage over 2:00 minutes.




Australians In Film Heath Ledger Scholarship Terms and Conditions:

  1. Citizenship/ Residents.Heath Ledger Scholarship is restricted to Australian citizens only.
  2. AgeAwards are granted to Applicants who are 18 years of age or over at the time of applying.
  3. Interviews.Applicants must be available to attend a zoom/online interview if required.
  4. Citizens Overseas. Applicants who are Australian citizens living overseas may be considered for the Scholarship.
  5. Amount of AwardThe amount of cash money attached to the Heath Ledger Scholarship is US$10,000 to be paid as follows: the first payment  of US$2,500 shall be paid  once online training is activated, and the remaining $7,500 paid in equal installments over the nine months commencing once international travel resumes and the Recipient arrives in Los Angeles.  
  6. Scholarship Reports. The Applicant will agree to provide quarterly reports outlining objectives met and outcomes over 12 months. The Scholarship financials will be paid quarterly after receiving the reports.
  7. Support from Other Sources. The First Round and Final Round Selection Committees will take account of any other existing sources of support for particular Applicants and will normally avoid duplicating the activities of other bodies. Only in special circumstances may a scholarship be awarded concurrently with another award.
  8. Contract. The award of a Heath Ledger Scholarship is subject to the Recipient agreeing to be bound by the conditions laid down in a contract document signed between Australians In Film and the Recipient. A Scholarship cannot commence until the Australians in Film Board receives an executed copy of the contract document from the Recipient.
  9. Air Travel. All air travel will be by economy class air. Travel will begin and terminate at the major airport nearest to the Recipient’s home address in Australia. The route may be varied to reduce costs. Travel to be booked only when international travel resumes in a normal fashion; no quarantine or other COVID19 related costs will be covered. Benefits are provided by various sponsors and donors and are subject to restrictions or limitations as to value, amount , timing and valuation of services as such sponsors impose in their sole discretion. Travel and activities are intended to be completed within a 12 month period  from the commencement date of the HLS Scholarship (subject to possible extension due to restrictions imposed related to the COVID 19 pandemic)
  10. Visas. Recipient is responsible for obtaining any relevant visas in order to fulfill travel requirements. All Applicants may not have any convictions or pending charges for a felony, domestic violence, or drug-related offense. If the selected Recipient does not have the required visa to live and work in the United States, Recipient agrees to cooperate with AiF and Raynor and Associates in seeking  an O-1 visa. This includes supplying the following documentation: evidence of awards or nominations, press and publicity (newspaper/magazine articles), past contracts showing high salary, and letters of recommendation from prominent people in the entertainment industry.
  11. Income Tax. The liability of a Recipient for Income Tax is a matter for decision by the Commissioner of Taxation, or the IRS (whichever applicable) and Australians in Film has no responsibility or authority in the matter. However, an allowance paid to the Recipient is likely to be treated as assessable income. Australians in Film recommends that the Recipient keep receipts for all expenditure of their Scholarship funds and seek independent advice with respect to their eligibility for claiming tax deductions.
  12. Application Form. The purpose of the application form is to enable the First Round and Final Round Selection Committees to assess the applicants in order to select the Finalists and Recipient. All applications must be made on the Application Form provided on the on- line platform Submittable.
  13. References. An Applicant is required to obtain two different references from different individuals. Applicants should include at least one reference from a recognized authority involved in the arts or entertainment industries. The references should be returned to the Applicant for submission with their application, and contain a signature and contact details, on letterhead. Applications submitted without the two supporting references will not be accepted.
  14. Selection. Once submitted, all applications will be acknowledged. Selection of the Heath Ledger Scholarship Finalists and Recipients will be via the following timetable:

(a) Application Start Date. Applications are called from 4:00 PM Wednesday, September 1, 2021 (PDT), which is 9:00 AM Thursday, September 2, 2021 (AEST).

(b) Submission of Applications. Applications with supporting references must be submitted online by the closing date. No grace periods will be extended.

(c) Closing Date. Applications close at 5:00 PM Thursday September 30, 2018 (PDT), which is 10:00 AM Friday, October 1, 2021 (AEST). Applications lodged or received after that date will not be considered. Applications must be completed via Australians in Film’s third party Scholarship provider website, Submittable. Faxed or mailed applications will not be accepted.

(d) Selection. The selection of Heath Ledger Scholarship and the procedure undertaken are at the absolute discretion of the First Round and Final Round Selection Committee(s).

(e) Finalists. The five successful Finalists will be officially announced live on social media on or around the week of December 1, 2021.

(f) Recipient. The Heath Ledger Scholarship Recipient will be officially announced in early January 2022, at a venue and time TBD.

(g) Unsuccessful Applicants. Unsuccessful Applicants will be advised if they are not selected as a Finalist via email.

  1. Materials. All Materials submitted by Applicants for the Heath Ledger Scholarship become the property of Australians In Film.
  2. Reapplying. The awarding of the Heath Ledger Scholarship is a competitive process with the merit of the proposal being the primary test. Unsuccessful Applicants are encouraged to reapply in subsequent years.
  3. Privacy Statement. Your privacy is respected by Australians in Film, and personal information will be handled in a sensitive manner. Information collected on the Application and References will be used for the purpose of selecting the Heath Ledger Scholarship Finalists and Recipient,and will be provided to the First Round and Final Round Selection Committee, and Australians in Film staff. If you have privacy concerns or would like to verify information held about you, please contact  
  4. Media Release and Other Publicity. All applicants agree that we may use their names, likenesses and biographies to promote the Scholarship and the work of Australians in Film and in particular the Finalists and Recipient’s names, likenesses and biographies and the subject of the Scholarship will be provided to the media as part of a media and publicity releases. These details may be used to promote the Scholarship with the media including without limitation by publication on the Australians in Film Website and on its social media platforms\
  5. Amendments. Once submitted, the only amendments or alterations allowed by an Applicant is that they may access and update the personal information that Australians in Film holds at any time.

Ready to take the next step?