Scholarship winner to be announced at the Thursday, June 1, 2017 event at the Sunset Marquis Hotel
WHAT: Australian actors, actresses and professionals in the entertainment industry will come together on June 1, 2017 for the 9th Annual Heath Ledger Scholarship fundraising dinner where this year’s winner will be announced at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, CA.


The Australians in Film’s Heath Ledger Scholarship is awarded to an actor who exhibits distinctive and unique potential. The scholarship’s objective is to provide support that will help kick-start the career of an emerging Australian actor in Hollywood.

Established in 2008 in memory of the late actor, the annual initiative is aimed at providing an emerging Australian actor aged between 18-35 years with significant assistance in further developing their acting skills and career on an international stage. To date, over $250,000 in Scholarship prizes has been awarded to help the winners with career and educational opportunities in the U.S. This year’s prize incudes’ a seven-day trip to California, $16,000 for expenses like rent, a living allowance and transportation, and even acting classes.


The event is supported by Qantas, Ausfilm, Screenwise, Visit California and Penfolds.


Dakota Shapiro (Daddy Issues, Arbiter Teaser), Daniel Monks (Go Happy Feet!, Bodies, Marley),  Hunter Page(Wentworth, Cleverman, The Sapphires),  Mitzi Ruhlmann (Killing Ground, Boys in The Trees, Dance Academy),Mojean Aria (Suitcase, Aban & Khorshid, Double Take), Morgan Griffin (Bad Blood, San Andreas, Unbroken), Ratidzo Mambo (Glee, Moms, Blind Rage), Sam Delich (Gallipoli: The Power of Ten), Tilda Cobham-Hervey(Things I Know To Be True, EagleHawk, Barracuda). Not in attendance: Shalom Brun-Franklin (Thor: Ragnarok, Our Girl)


Kim Ledger (Heath Ledger’s father), Sally Bell (Heath Ledger’s mother), Kate Ledger and Ashleigh Bell (Heath Ledger’s sisters), Brenton Thwaites (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), Danielle Macdonald(Patti Cake$), Cody Simpson (Recording Artist), Teresa Palmer (Hacksaw Ridge), Luke Bracey (Hacksaw Ridge),Anna Torv (Fringe), Leonardo Nam (Westworld), Natasha Bassett (Britney Ever After), Felicity Price (Wish You Were Here), producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers), writer & director Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean),  director Jeremy Podeswa (Game of Thrones), producer Rebecca Yeldham (Gringo), filmmaker Eva Orner (Chasing Asylum), Chelsey Martin (Australian Consulate to Los Angeles), Denise Roberts (Principal Director & CEO, Screenwise), Greg Basser (CEO, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group), plus more expected to attend.

WHEN: Thursday, June 1, 2017














WHERE: Sunset Marquis Hotel

1200 Alta Loma Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

 About Australians in Film: Founded in May 2001, Australians in Film is a non-profit organization that serves as the industry guild for Australian entertainment professionals in Los Angeles, holding regular screenings, career development programs, seminars and labs, and currently has over 600 members. For more information on AiF, please visit

About Visit California: Visit California is a nonprofit organisation 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, spending by travellers totaled $117.5 billion in 2014 in California, generating 1,027,000 jobs in the state and $9.3 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor’s Guide, go to For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to

About Ausfilm: Ausfilm connects international filmmakers with Australia’s talent, screen agencies, locations and production facilities.  Ausfilm markets Australia’s Screen Production Incentive Scheme which comprises the Location, PDV (post, digital and visual effects) and Producer Offsets. Ausfilm is an Australian industry – government partnership. It comprises Australia’s Federal and State Governments; the major studios; leading post, sound and visual effects facilities; and production service providers. For more information, please visit

About Screenwise: Screenwise was established fifteen years ago to provide specialist, career-focused training in acting for film and television by employing the crème de la crème of industry professionals – award-winning actors, directors and casting consultants who are articulate and inspirational teachers. Overseen by Denise Roberts (Schapelle, Wonderland, The Moodys, Cliffy, Packed To The Rafters, Blood Brothers, 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. Screenwise Master Intensives Screenwise Master Intensives are designed to provide the professional actor with the opportunity to work intimately with Australian and international heavyweight film and television professionals. Previous Master Intensives have included Australian directors Peter Andrikidis, Kriv Stenders, David Caesar, Tony Tilse, Kate Woods, Di Drew; Hollywood Coach to the Stars, Michelle Danner; Australian Actor Colin Friels and LA Casting Directors, Lyndsey Baldasare and Tamara Hunter.

About Qantas: Qantas is Australia’s largest domestic and international airline connecting Australians to the world in comfort, style and ease. It is widely regarded as one of the world’s most respected full-service airlines and one of the strongest brands in Australia, with an outstanding reputation for excellence in safety, customer service, operational efficiency and technical innovation. The Qantas network spans 46 countries across Australia, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa. The US is one of Qantas’ most popular routes, with its first Trans-Pacific flight taking place in 1954 to San Francisco.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.