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Press Release

Announcing 2012 Australians in Film Breakthrough Award Recipients, New International Awards & Heath Ledger Scholarship Winner

Liam Hemsworth, Yvonne Strahovski, Harvey Weinstein and John Polson to be honored plus scholarship winner to be named at benefit dinner on June 27th, 2012

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles-based Australians in Film (AiF), the preeminent organization for expatriate Australians in the entertainment industry, is holding its eighth annual Breakthrough Awards that will honor Australian actors Liam Hemsworth, (The Hunger Games) and Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck). For the first time, this year AiF has added an international category and will honor studio executive Harvey Weinstein (The Weinstein Company) and filmmaker John Polson (Tropfest founder) for their contributions to Australian film and television, at a benefit dinner on June 27, 2012, it was announced today by Andrew Warne, president of AiF. The fourth recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, which is presented annually to a young Australia-based actor to help them pursue their dream in Hollywood, will also be announced.

"We are delighted to recognize the undeniable talent and international success of two of Australia's brightest rising stars, Liam Hemsworth and Yvonne Strahovski by awarding them each a 2012 Australians in Film Breakthrough Award," stated Andrew Warne, president of AiF.

Warne continued, "This year, for the first time, we are acknowledging two individuals with an Australians in Film International Award.  Harvey Weinstein, whose company recently purchased the new Australian film, The Sapphires, and John Polson, whose Tropfest Short Film Festival just premiered in Las Vegas. Both have championed Australian film talent in the past.

The fourth annual Heath Ledger Scholarship will be presented to an emerging Australian actor and provide them the chance to travel to the US to pursue their training and international acting opportunities.

The format of the event has also evolved from a cocktail event to a benefit dinner prepared by Luke Magnan, one of Australia's most popular celebrity chefs, which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. The by-invitation only event will be attended by over 300 of Hollywood's elite. The Master of Ceremonies will be Extra TV co-host and correspondent Renee Bargh.

Individual ticket prices start at $500. Proceeds from the event will fund educational programs for Australians in Film members. To purchase tickets and tables please contact Sponsorship Director Jill Carrigan on 213 304-5020 or

About Australians in Film: Founded in May 2001, to celebrate and support the work of Australian film and TV makers, Los Angeles based non-profit Australians in Film has held nearly 200 screenings, premieres and special events and currently has over 800 members. Australians in film Ambassadors include Australian Oscar-winning actors Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, 2005), Nicole Kidman (The Hours, 2002), Russell Crowe (Gladiator, 2000) and Geoffrey Rush (Shine, 1996) and 30 other internationally known stars and film-makers including Hugh Jackman, Fred Schepisi and Naomi Watts. In 2008 Australians in Film established the annual Heath Ledger Scholarship in honor of the late actor. Australians in Film is proud to have the support of the Australian Government and presenting sponsor Virgin Australia. Other sponsors of AiF include Brand Australia, Stacey testro International, Protea Group, Loeb&Loeb, AusFilm. AiF's media partner is Getty Images.  For further information please visit

About Virgin Australia:  Virgin Australia group of airlines, formerly the Virgin Blue group of airlines, was launched in 2000 as the first sustainable low-fare airline in Australian skies. It has established a global reputation as an innovator and leader in the aviation industry; renowned for the warmth of its people and the quality of the service they provide.  Starting out as a single airline operating a single route with just 200 team members, today the group employs over 7,000 people and includes Virgin Australia international and domestic airlines and Virgin Samoa, a joint venture with the Government of Samoa.  Virgin Australia operates a fleet of modern Boeing 737, Boeing 777, Airbus A330, ATR-72 Turboprop and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to Australian and international destinations including the USA, UAE, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. Velocity is the global frequent flyer program of Virgin Australia, providing members with many easy, everyday ways to earn Velocity Points and enjoy fantastic rewards sooner.  For more information, please visit

About Luke Mangan: Luke Mangan is one of Australia's leading chefs and restaurateurs and is highly regarded internationally as a shining example of Australia's culinary culture.  Luke currently owns and operates glass brasserie, Hilton Sydney; Salt grill, Hilton Surfers Paradise; Salt grill and Salt tapas & bar, Singapore; Salt and the adjoining World Wine Bar, Tokyo; and Salt grill onboard three P&O cruise liners. He is also the consulting chef for Virgin Australia.  In addition to running eight busy restaurants, Luke has written four best-selling cookbooks and most recently, his autobiography 'The Making of a Chef'. He has launched his own range of gourmet products and also makes regular appearances on number of TV shows, both in Australia and internationally.  For more information, please visit

To cover the June 27th red carpet please contact Susie Dobson on 310 486 2939 or at ALL MEDIA MUST BE CREDENTIALED

SOURCE Australians in Film

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