F.Y.I.

AiF announce finalists of 2014 Heath Ledger Scholarship

Australians in Film (AiF) has announced the finalists of the 2014 AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship.

The 2o finalists are: Dominic Allburn (Jack Irish: Dead Point), Natasha Bassett (Mental), Charlotte Best (Is This The Real World), Matilda Brown (Rake), Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays), Matthew Connell (The Boy Castaways), Jared Daperis (The Cup), Maeve Dermody (Beautiful Kate), Abby Earl (A Place to Call Home), Cody Fern (The Last Time I Saw Richard), Laurence Fuller (Mother and Brother), Catherine Mack (Home and Away), Jerome Meyer (Cat), Tim Pocock (Camp), Millie Samuels (Around the Block), Lizzie Schebesta (Underbelly), Toby Wallace (Lucky Country), Axle Whitehead (Home and Away), Alex Williams (Underground: The Julian Assange Story) and Remy Yii (Neighbours).

The announcement:

Australians in Film (AiF) is pleased to announce the finalists of the prestigious 2014 AiF HEATH LEDGER SCHOLARSHIP, which fosters the education and career development of young Australian actors within the United States. The recipients of the sixth annual scholarship, including a main prize winner and two runners up, will be announced in Los Angeles on June 12th winner in attendance.

The scholarship was established in 2008 in honour of the late Academy Award® winner, Heath Ledger, and is designed to mirror Heath’s own experience. Heath Ledger was an ambassador for AiF before his death and the scholarship has the support of the Ledger family and friends. It aims to provide a bridge for young Aussie actors who have achieved a level of success in Australia to establish themselves as working actors in the US. 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.

The primary recipient will receive a $10,000 cash fund, a two year scholarship at Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in Los Angeles, 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 10-day California trip from Visit California, $5,000 worth of Visa and Immigration services from Raynor & Associates and complimentary lifetime membership to StarNow. It also includes mentorship from professionals in the industry; for example Manager Rob Marsala and Agent Steve Alexander at Resolution, personal mentoring from Heath Ledger’s father, Kim Ledger, who is patron of the scholarship It also gives the recipient access to the wider AiF network including Stella Adler Executive Director John Jack Rodgers who provides a regular mentoring program with Stella alumni including Gary Ross, Mark Ruffalo and Benicio Del Toro.

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.

This year, due to the exceptionally high calibre of applicants, the judges have selected 20 finalists instead of 15 candidates as per previous years. The 2014 finalists are: Dominic Allburn (Jack Irish: Dead Point), Natasha Bassett (Mental), Charlotte Best (Is This The Real World), Matilda Brown (Rake), Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays), Matthew Connell (The Boy Castaways), Jared Daperis (The Cup), Maeve Dermody (Beautiful Kate), Abby Earl (A Place to Call Home), Cody Fern (The Last Time I Saw Richard), Laurence Fuller (Mother and Brother), Catherine Mack (Home and Away), Jerome Meyer (Cat), Tim Pocock (Camp), Millie Samuels (Around the Block), Lizzie Schebesta (Underbelly), Toby Wallace (Lucky Country), Axle Whitehead (Home and Away), Alex Williams (Underground: The Julian Assange Story) and Remy Yii (Neighbours).

Previous recipients of the Scholarship are James Mackay (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows), Ryan Corr, (Wolf Creek 2) Oliver Ackland (The Slap, Cloudstreet) and most recently, Anna McGahan (House Husbands).

Heath Ledger’s father, Kim Ledger, says: “In this, the sixth remarkable year of the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship, I am so pleased to know there have been hundreds of entrants and the quality of these so extraordinary, the judges have decided to announce 20 finalists. Thank you to all who entered this year and special congratulations to the finalists in the lead up to this year’s winner.”

AiF President, Tracey Vieira, said, “This year we had an overwhelming response of incredibly talented applicants, increasing our finalist numbers to five more than in past years. On behalf of Australians in Film and all of our partners, I would like to congratulate each finalist and applaud them for their talent and passion for their craft.”

The 2014 Scholarship judges span across the entertainment and film industry and include Colin Farrell (Total Recall), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) and Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), directors Gregor Jordan (Two Hands, Ned Kelly) and Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde), Australian-based casting director Ann Fay (Anzac Girls, Packed to the Rafters) and Vice President of Feature Casting at Walt Disney Studios, Randi Hiller (The Avengers, Ironman 2). Founding Benefactors of the Heath Ledger Scholarship include Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Michelle Williams, Phil Noyce, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.

Australians in Film 2014 Heath Ledger Scholarship is sponsored by: Virgin Australia, Visit California, Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, Raynor & Associates Immigration Lawyers, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, Animal Logic, Screenwise Film & TV School for Actors, Ausfilm and StarNow. In addition, AiF annual sponsors are Virgin Australia, Stacey Testro International, Ausfilm, Protea Group International, Branding Iron Worldwide and Australian Film and Television Radio School.

Source: Australians in Film media release

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