The judges for this year's Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship are Toni Collette, Ledger's Candy co-star Abbie Cornish, head of casting for Paramount Joseph Middleton (Donnie Darko, The Bourne Identity), producer Basil Iwanyk (The Town, Gods of Egypt, Sicario), casting director Sherry Thomas (The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul) and director Phillip Noyce.
“The Heath Ledger Scholarship is AiF’s flagship education program and represents everything the foundation stands for", said Australians in Film's president Simonne Overend. "This is a potentially life changing moment for a young actor and AiF is thrilled to be able to give this opportunity to someone".
"The incredible group of influential judges assembled to select this year’s scholarship’s recipient is a testament to the level of regard to which the scholarship is held in Hollywood".
“I am happy to be involved in this initiative”, said Collette. “I liked Heath very much and this scholarship in his name is a wonderful way of allowing new Australian talent to evolve.”
The winner will receive USD$10,000, a two year scholarship at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre in Los Angeles, a six-month scholarship to attend the Ivana Chubbuck Studio in Los Angeles, two flights – one to attend the announcement ceremony and a second to transition to the United States for good – a seven-day trip around the west coast, USD$5,000 worth of visa and immigration services and $500 worth of Uber credit to get around LA.
In a new addition to the prize pack, the winner will also receive six sessions with dialect coach Joy Ellison, who coached Ledger on Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight and I'm Not There.
"I am honoured be a part of this ideal tribute to a man who was an enigmatic and talented friend", Ellison said. "In nearly 30 years as a dialect coach, Australian actors have consistently been among my most hard working and dedicated clients, so it is with pleasure I look forward to working with the actor chosen for this award in his memory.”
Ellison has previously worked with Chris Hemsworth, Eric Bana, Jack Thompson, Peta Wilson, Ryan Kwanten, Radha Mitchell, Richard Roxburgh, Sam Worthington and Toni Collette.
Two runners up will receive a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles and a scholarship to attend Screenwise Film and TV School for actors in Sydney.
Applications will close April 4 (Ledger's birthday).