Mojean Aria is this year’s recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship.
The Sydney-born, LA-based actor, who recently starred in The Bronx Bull, had been shortlisted for the award twice before this year’s win.
“Heath is such a huge inspiration for all of us actors and so many people looked up to him. Just to be connected with Heath Ledger and being able to have this platform, it is a dream come true."
Carrie and Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce, who served on the judges’ panel, praised Aria’s work as “rich, nuanced, precise, beautiful, authentic, emotive and fierce”.
“I hope the scholarship provides him the necessary support and tools to explore his talent and interests, develop his craft and further his career here in Hollywood and wherever it takes him.”
Other judges included industry heavyweights inclduing Naomi Watts, Ryan Murphy, Gary Oldman, Bruna Papandrea, Emile Sherman, Jacqueline McKenzie, Gregor Jordan and casting director Ronna Kress.
In addition to a $10,000USD cash fund, Aria will receive private acting tuition from the Lisa Robertson and Nancy Banks Acting Studio, as well as return flights to LA and a seven day Californian trip.
Other prizes include USD$5,000 worth of visa and immigration services from Raynor and Associates, Business Management and Australian/US Taxation advice from the Protea Group, US$5,000 rent assistance and USD1000.00 transportation credit to get around LA.
The scholarship also includes mentorship from professionals in the industry.