Applications Open For the 7th Annual AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship 2015

Mar 19, 2015 | Press Room

Original article at Film Ink March 12, 2015

CALLS FOR ENTRY: Applications open for the 7th annual AiF HEATH LEDGER SCHOLARSHIP 2015 offering talented young Aussie actors the opportunity to further their career internationally with professional development opportunities in the United States.

The recipients of the seventh annual scholarship, including a $20,000 prize packages for the main prize winner and two runners up, will be announced at a special Heath Ledger Scholarship dinner in Los Angeles on June 2, 2015 with the winner in attendance.

Established in 2008 in memory of Australian actor Heath Ledger, who served as an ambassador for the organization, the scholarship includes a return flight to Los Angeles on Virgin Australia, a 7-day California trip from Visit California, a two year scholarship to attend acting classes at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre in Los Angeles, $5,000 worth of visa and immigration services from Raynor and Associates, a complimentary lifetime membership to StarNow and $10,000 cash. Two runners up will also receive flights to Los Angeles flying Virgin Australia and new for 2015, a scholarship to attend Masterclasses at Screenwise Film & TV School for actors in Sydney.

Winner of the scholarship last year, Cody Fern said, “The opportunities and support offered through the Heath Ledger Scholarship have been truly life changing; the benefits of which continue to have a profound impact on both my personal and professional life. It has been a privilege and a great honour to be part of such an incredible legacy and I cannot thank Australians in Film and the Ledger family enough.”

Since winning the Scholarship, Cody has met with some of the industry’s most celebrated directors. He is currently in contention for a few major projects and looks forward to releasing details as soon as possible.

Kim Ledger, Heath’s father and Patron of the Heath Ledger Scholarship program said, “On behalf of Heath’s family we wish to invite any emerging Australian actors to apply for the 2015 AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship to help expose their skills to the film industry in Los Angeles, USA. I’ve been privileged to spend time with Cody Fern, last year’s deserving winner and learn of his amazing new journey. I look forward to witnessing first-hand how 2015’s scholarship will help another Aussie actor and two runners up to reach their full potential.”

In addition to Cody Fern (The Last Time I Saw Richard), previous recipients of the scholarship include James Mackay (The Dressmaker), Anna McGahan (Anzac Girls, House Husbands), Ryan Corr (Wolf Creek 2), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows, The Rewrite), and Oliver Ackland (Party Tricks, Blinder). 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.

As in previous years, the 2015 judging panel will consist of influential actors, casting agents and industry executives. Past judges have included actors Colin Farrell, Miranda Otto, Jude Law, Rachel Griffiths and Wes Bentley, directors Gregor Jordan, Catherine Hardwicke and Kieran Darcy-Smith, Head of Casting at Dreamworks Leslee Feldman, manager Will Ward, casting director Nikki Barrett, talent agent Steve Alexander, Vice President of Feature Casting at Walt Disney Studios Randi Hiller and Warner Bros. President of Production, Greg Silverman.

Australians in Film President, Simonne Overend, said, “The scholarship is made possible thanks to the continued support and commitment from the Ledger family and repeat sponsors, especially Virgin Australia, Visit California, Screenwise, Ausfilm and Stella Adler Acting Academy. Any emerging Aussie actor may apply and we look forward to helping the winner and runners up realise their dreams by equipping them with tools to try and break a notoriously competitive international market.”

Australians in Film(AiF) is a Los Angeles based non-profit organization that serves as the industry guild for Australian filmmakers and performers in the US.

Applications are now open and will close on April 21, 2015.

For applications and additional information please visit

Image courtesy of Australians in Film 


Subscribe for course and workshop news