Screenwise Showreel graduate Matt Levett has been announced as this year’s winner of the hotly contested Heath Ledger Scholarship, which supports emerging Australian talent in the US. The Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship sponsored by Screenwise was held June 1st at the famous Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood.
In attendance were judges including actors Vince Vaughn and Ben Mendelsohn, and Australian cinema glitterati including Jacki Weaver, director Phillip Noyce and writer Stuart Beattie. For the high calibre judging panel, the choice was not an easy one to make. Emmy award winning casting director, Laray Mayfield (Fight Club, Gone Girl, House of Cards, The Social Network), who joined the panel for the first time this year said, ‘Ultimately our decision was to award the scholarship to Matt Levett. We are all excited about watching his talent and career continue to grow…’ she commented.
Since its inception in 2008, the scholarship was established in honour of the late Academy Award winner, Heath Ledger, and aims to provide a bridge for actors who have achieved a level of success in Australia, to help carve out a US career with a prize that includes a $US10, 000 cash fund, two years at a leading LA acting school, airfares and visa and immigration services.
Since Matt completed Screenwise’s extremely popular showreel course some years ago he has since starred in Home and Away, Bed of Roses, Devil’s Playground, A Place to Call Home, Boys Grammar and Drown. Up for nomination also included another Screenwise alumni, Ashleigh Cummings.
The Screenwise showreel course is a proven launch pad for many high profile actors. Over the space of 40 weeks students refine their acting skills in preparation for the 5 week production of a professional and competitive Showreel. Screenwise graduates develop a showreel that illustrates the breadth and depth of their acting calibre. Our students graduate with the skills and confidence to back up their showreel performances when they land important auditions and screen tests.
Showreel Graduates with established acting careers include: Andy Whitfield (Spartacus) and Stef Dawson (Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1 & 2). In addition, Screenwise Showreel Students have scored roles in Janet King, Underbelly, Home & Away, Rescue, Crownies, Packed to the Rafters and countless TV commercials whilst studying at Screenwise.
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Screenwise was established fifteen years ago to provide specialist, career-focused training in acting for film & television. In today’s industry, without a strong screen profile, it is difficult for actors to progress in any facet of acting.
Overseen by Denise Roberts (Schapelle, The Moodys, Cliffy, Wonderland, Mrs Biggs, Packed To The Rafters, Blood Brothers, Always Greener, GP), Screenwise employs top industry professionals – award-winning actors, directors and casting consultants – who are articulate and inspirational tutors.
Screenwise is a boutique drama school specifically designed to teach the art of screen acting. The school attracts students from around the country and the globe. Alumni include high profile actors such as Chris Hemsworth, Todd Lasance, Isabel Lucas, Ashleigh Cummings, Christian Clark, George Houvardas, Tabrett Bethell, Yvonne Strahovski, Stef Dawson, Meegan Warner and Andy Whitfield.