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SOURCE Australians in Film
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Australians in Film, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization that serves as the industry guild for Australian filmmakers and performers in the US, announced that applications are now open for the sixth annual Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship. The scholarship is open to any emerging Australian actor to further their career and training in the US and provides over $20,000 in prizes for the winner.
Applications are open now and will be available until April 4, 2014 at www.australiansinfilm.org. The winning recipient will be announced at the AiF's second annual Heath Ledger Scholarship Dinner in June.
The scholarship-established in 2008 in memory of Australian actor Heath Ledger, who served as an ambassador for the organization-includes a return flight to Los Angeles on Virgin Australia, a 10-day California trip from Visit California, a complimentary lifetime membership to StarNow, one year of acting classes at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, a VIP casting package, and $10,000 cash, affording talented young Aussies the opportunity to establish themselves in the heart of the entertainment industry, and reach an international audience.
Kim Ledger, father of the late AiF ambassador, will again assume the role of Patron in honor of his son, ensuring that the Heath Ledger Scholarship program continues to thrive, and that emerging Australian actors will always have a shot at the major international market. "As Patron of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, I welcome applications for the 2014 awards from those seeking to begin or progress a future within the film arts industry based in Los Angeles. The Committee will start reviewing these applications in April and our experienced Judging panel will select an appropriate candidate for announcement in early June, " said Ledger. "On behalf of the Ledger family and the Australians in Film Scholarship Team, we warmly wish all applicants much success in their future endeavors."
Previous recipients of the scholarship include James Mackay (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows), Ryan Corr (Not Suitable for Children), Oliver Ackland (The Slap, Cloudstreet) and Anna McGahan (House Husbands). Benefactors to the program include the Ledger family, Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Alex O'Loughlin, Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Phil Noyce and Baz Luhrmann.
James Mackay stated, "Receiving the Heath Ledger Scholarship is an incredible honor. It has been a huge boost in momentum and profile - the kind of intangible factors that are invaluable in the early years of a career. Thanks to the resources of the Scholarship, I am now able to base myself in LA, and begin the process of building a career and a working life in the US - I cannot overstate my gratitude for this. This award, in such a short space of time, has become recognized within the industry not only as a vibrant and fitting monument to one of our greatest actors, and a symbol of remarkable opportunity for emerging Australian actors; but also as an expression of the support that Australians in Film offers to the wider community of Australians working in the American industry."
As in the past, the 2014 judging panel will consist of influential actors, casting agents and industry executives. Past judges have included actors Jude Law and Rachel Griffiths, directors Gregor Jordan and Catherine Hardwicke, Wes Bentley, Actor; Ann Fay, Casting Director; Gregor Jordan, Director (Ned Kelly); Leslee Feldman, Head of Casting at Dreamworks; Will Ward, Manager; Nikki Barrett, Casting Director; Kieran Darcy-Smith, Director (Wish You Were Here) and Steve Alexander, Talent Agent, and Warner Bros. President of Production, Greg Silverman.
"It is important to us at Australians in Film to foster growth and filmmaking within our own community," explained Australians in Film President Tracey Vieira. "The Heath Ledger Scholarship allows for Australian filmmakers to grow their work within the film business."
For applications and additional information please visit www.australiansinfilm.org. Australians in Film 2014 Heath Ledger Scholarship is sponsored by: Virgin Australia, Visit California, StarNow, Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, Raynor & Associates Immigration Lawyers, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, Rosemount Estate, Animal Logic and Screenwise Film & TV School for Actors. 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.
ABOUT AUSTRALIANS IN FILM
Founded in May 2001, in celebration and support of Australian film and television artists and their work, the Los Angeles based non-profit organization holds regular screenings, seminars and labs, and currently has over 500 members. For further information please visit www.australiansinfilm.org.
ABOUT VIRGIN AUSTRALIA
Virgin Australia is proud to be the exclusive airline of Australians in Film and sponsor of the Heath Ledger Scholarship for four years. At Virgin Australia, we're bringing the romance back to flying. With constant innovation at the heart of everything we do, our superior products and award-winning service set us apart from our competitors and lets you enjoy a world-class experience on every flight. Whether you're flying for business or leisure, experience the difference with Virgin Australia. For more information, please visit www.virginaustralia.com.
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. According to preliminary overseas visitor arrival forecasts, 546,110 Australians visited California in 2012 and spent $959 million. For more information about Visit California go to www.visitcalifornia.com or www.visitcalifornia.com.au.
ABOUT VILLAGE ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group is a leading global entertainment company building premier, content-rich businesses in the entertainment industry. VREG employs innovative strategies to produce, acquire and deliver intellectual properties with timeless appeal, while maximizing group-wide strategic and operational efficiencies. VREG is the holding company of Village Roadshow Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures Asia.
ABOUT ANIMAL LOGIC
Animal Logic is one of the world's most accomplished digital studios producing award winning, ground breaking and trail blazing animation, visual effects and design. Established in 1991 when lunches were long and to buy a graphics computer meant to mortgage one's house, Animal Logic has been at the forefront of digital content production. From humble beginnings as a 10 person enterprise, Animal Logic is now one of the world's most prolific digital studios, collaborating with revolutionary directors and producers to create spectacular and memorable imagery.
Screenwise was established thirteen years ago to provide specialist, career-focused training in acting for film & television 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 (Cliffy, Mrs Biggs, Packed To The Rafters, Blood Brothers, Razzle Dazzle, Always Greener, GP…) the teaching staff includes award winning actors, directors, casting directors and technicians who are currently employed and up to date with the Australian and International film industry standards.
Chet Mehta/Alyssa Some
PR Dept. (323) 556-3100
Australians in Film (310) 452-5939
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