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BIRD IN HAND PRESENTED THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY HEATH LEDGER SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS Thursday, September 20, 2018 Chateau Marmont – 8221 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Written By: Marcelle - Sep• 23•18



Charmaine Bingwa is an award-winning Australian/Zimbabwean actor who like Heath, was born in Western Australia. Bingwa recently appeared alongside international star Monica Bellucci in Nekrotronic, which has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this month. She also starred, wrote, produced and co-directed the award-winning series Little Sista, which won Best Screenplay at the LGBT Toronto Film Festival and has been selected in Out Web Fest LA, Web Series Festival Global, Sicily Web Fest, Roma Cinema DOC, New Jersey Web Fest, ITVFest and Melbourne Web Fest.

She received both a Sydney Theatre Award nomination and Broadway World nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the moving yet challenging role of “Mrs Muller” in Doubt: A Parable at The Old Fitz. Her performance was described as “a rivetingly poignant delivery… so finely calibrated it’s elevated to unforgettable status.” Other recent acting credits include Australian feature film The Pitch, short films Boys Will Be Boys, Can You Dig It and Waiting For God and stage plays Mame at Hayes Theatre, American Beauty Shop at KXT bAKEHOUSE, Birdland at New Theatre and The Seagull in the iconic role of “Masha” at The Depot Theatre.

On accepting the award, Bingwa said, “I’m completely taken aback and so honoured to be 2018’s winner of the Heath Ledger Scholarship.” Noting that there were “so many beautiful people” she wanted to thank, she turned first to Heath, saying “I heard the other day someone say that the most powerful currency you have is the impact you have on other people and I think Heath epitomises that. Heath personally taught me what the power of a performance can do” before citing his performance in Brokeback Mountain particularly touching for her and inspiring her both professionally and personally.

The judging panel who selected the winner also included Rose Byrne (Peter Rabbit, Bridesmaids, Two Hands); Academy Award-winning actor, writer and producer Matt Damon (The Martian, The Bourne Identity series, Good Will Hunting); Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Night Manager); Australian director Gregor Jordan (Two Hands, Ned Kelly, upcoming Tim Winton’s Dirt Music); U.S. film and TV producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers franchise, Deepwater Horizon, RED); Emmy-nominated director Jeremy Podeswa (The Handmaid’s Tale, Game of Thrones); and casting directors Carmen Cuba (Stranger Things, Alien: Covenant, Magic Mike XXL), Kirsty McGregor (Lion, Top of the Lake), Amanda Mitchell (The Code, Marco Polo), Jason Wood (A&E Networks), Barbara McCarthy (The Kennedys) and Ann Fay, Patron of the HLS.

Bingwa joins past winners who have gone on to achieve incredible success in their careers. The same evening of the HLS10 announcement, the crime thriller Dead Lucky starring last year’s winner Mojean Aria opposite Rachel Griffiths, premiered on Sundance Now. Aria has also just finished work on the film Danger Close opposite Travis Fimmel and was present at the Chateau Marmont announcement alongside fellow past recipients Cody Fern, Matt Levett and Oliver Ackland. This same week, it was announced 2016’s recipient Ashleigh Cummings landed her first US TV series in AMC’s supernatural horror drama NOS4A2, after making her Hollywood film debut starring opposite Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman in The Goldfinch. Other previous winners include, Bella Heathcote who is the lead in the new Ridley Scott | CBS drama Strange Angel and Cody Fern, the breakout star of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: Versace and soon to be seen in House of Cards opposite Robin Wright.

Partial Candid Photos taken at the Heath Ledger Scholarship Awards Gala.  By LA Variety Magazine.  I personally  was very fortunate to attend this Gala.  The overall feeling was warm and friendly.  I was lucky to meet some of his family and chat with them.  He is so loved  and cherished by all his family, students, fans, the world and myself.  We all hold him in Great Esteem as  he is  a brilliant person and talent.  The photograph above is signed and autographed by him at the Priemere of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.







Bird in Hand as this year’s presenting partners, alongside longstanding partners Qantas, Ausfilm and Screenwise. Media partners this year are Vogue Australia and GQ Australia with The Standard West Hollywood, as the official hotel partner.

Benefactors to the program include the Ledger family, Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Rose Byrne, Vince Vaughn, Liam Hemsworth, Alex O’Loughlin, Deborra-Lee Furness, Phillip Noyce, Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gregor Jordan, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Nicole Kidman.

In attendance at the ceremony were Kim and Kate Ledger, HLS10 host and ambassador, Eka Darville (Jessica Jones, The Originals), Abbie Cornish (Candy, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Luke Bracey (Point Break, Hacksaw Ridge), Damon Herriman (Candy, The Nightingale, upcoming Once Upon A Time in Hollywood), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, upcoming In Like Flynn) Tom Cocquerel (Table 19, upcoming Celeste, In Like Flynn) and previous HLS recipients Mojean Aria (Dead Lucky, upcoming Danger Close), Oliver Ackland (The Originals) and Matt Levett (A Place to Call Home, The Secret Daughter).

For more information on the scholarship:

Twitter: @australiansfilm | Instagram: @AustraliansinFilm

For images, footage and any media enquiries-

U.S. Media Contact: Megan Levy – The Lippin Group:, +1 (323) 801–7460

Australian Media Contact: Harriet Dixon-Smith – NIXCo:, +61 403 857 328



Founded in 2001, Australians in Film is a Los Angeles based non-profit screen organization that supports its members with career development and education programs include the prestigious Heath Ledger Scholarship, Mentor LA, Village Roadshow/Animal Logic Entertainment Internship, Greg Coote Fellowship, Gateway LA and The Writers Room.

AiF is based at Charlie’s, a shared workspace at the historic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. Charlie’s is a bespoke hub for business, collaboration and networking for the Australian screen community in Los Angeles and it is where AiF holds its industry education programs. For more information:


Bird in Hand is a world-renowned producer of fine wine that celebrates place and passion not only through expert vinification but also through food, art, and cultural events. Its portfolio of cool climate wines is produced across four award-winning speciality tiers; Tribute Series, Nest Egg, Bird in Hand and Two in the Bush.


Qantas is Australia’s largest domestic and international airline connecting Australians to the world. 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 and flies to almost 60 destinations throughout Australia. The U.S. is one of Qantas’ most popular destinations, with its first Trans-Pacific flight taking place in 1954 to San Francisco. Qantas offers more non-stop flights per week between the U.S. and Australia than any other airline with direct flights from Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Dallas/Fort Worth and Vancouver, and more than 220 codeshare city pairs across the U.S., Canada and Mexico from Qantas gateways.


Ausfilm connects international filmmakers with Australia’s talent, screen agencies, studio complexes, locations and production facilities. On behalf of the Australian Government 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. Ausfilm has offices in Los Angeles and Sydney. For more information visit :


Screenwise – Australia’s Leading Film and TV School for Actors – offers intensive full-time and part-time creative and technical screen acting programs that are accredited and consistent with current Australian and International film industry standards. Screenwise offers the crème de la crème of industry professionals – award-winning actors, directors & casting consultants that adopt an articulate and inspirational approach to their teaching. Students are exposed to these professionals on a regular and intimate basis, and are offered the rare opportunity to network and train closely with accomplished and experienced actors who define what it means to have a practical and rewarding career in the Film and Television Industry. Screenwise was established seventeen years ago with the purpose of providing specialist, career-focused training in acting for film & television. The Sydney-based acting school is overseen by Multi-Award Winning Actress and Australian Film and TV Legend Denise Roberts (Schapelle, The Moodys, Cliffy, Mrs Biggs, Packed To The Rafters, Blood Brothers, Razzle Dazzle, Always Greener, GP) and is inspired by the tenacious, dedicated and professional nature of the ‘Roberts Method’ for which it is based on. Screenwise is not only leading other Sydney Acting Schools in both performance and program content, it is, and will continue to be at the forefront of acting education nationally and internationally offering the very best the industry has to offer. Visit:





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