Kurdish genocide survivor, Rahel Romahn reaches milestone as a finalist for the prestigious Heath Ledger Scholarship

Rahel Romahn, a Western Sydney-based actor, known mainly for his roles in The Principal, Here Out West, Alex and Eve, Australian Gangster, and many more, is among the six finalists selected for a prestigious Hollywood acclaimed scholarship.

Australians in Film, a Los Angeles-based non-profit film, television, and digital content foundation that supports and promotes Australian screen talent and culture in the United States, have announced the finalists in the prestigious career and life changing Heath Ledger Scholarship for 2021.

As a Kurdish genocide survivor who came to Australia at the age of four, Rahel certainly exceeded all expectations and became one of Australia’s best young actors with a Logie and AACTA award nomination for his role in The Principal and now being selected as one of the six finalists out of 600 applications.

The Heath Ledger Scholarship is awarded to an emerging Australian actor with extraordinary ability and dedication to their craft who wishes to work and train internationally. It is named in memory of Ledger, the Perth-raised actor who sadly passed away in 2008, aged just 28. Ledger made his mark in Hollywood in films including Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight, and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Rahel Romahn has appeared in many Film, Television, and Theatre productions in the last 15 years with multiple awards, for his performance in the internationally acclaimed The Principal. He has in the past year, worked on multiple films and US TV shows, one of them being God’s Favorite Idiot, starring Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone. He is also the lead character in the upcoming Australian film Streets of Colour.

The other five actors in the running for the scholarship are Max Brown (The Tourist, The Gloaming), Mabel Li (The Tailings, New Gold Mountain), Andrea Solonge (Privileged, Girl, Interpreted), Zoe Terakes (Wentworth, Nine Perfect Strangers) and Harvey Zielinski (Don’t Look Deeper, My First Summer).

The 2018 scholarship winner Charmaine Bingwa, who has gone on to star opposite Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald, and Mandy Patinkin in the Chicago-based series The Good Fight announced the finalists on Australians in Film’s Instagram page.

The scholarship has been awarded 10 times previously and previous recipients have included Bingwa, Bella Heathcote (Relic), Cody Fern (American Horror Story), Ashleigh Cummings (Citadel), and Mojean Aria (The Enforcer).

“We had a staggering 600 applications this year, which is a record for the scholarship. Leading Australian and US Casting Directors, including, from the US; Barbara McCarthy, Alyssa Weisberg, Jason Wood and John McAlary, and from Australia; Ann Fay, Anousha Zarkesh and Amanda Mitchell, had the hard task of narrowing the field down to just six finalists. We thank them enormously for their passion in finding new Australian talent for the world.”

“The intelligence, dedication, commitment and talent of the six finalists really shined through in not only their auditions, but their applications, in which they had to talk about what being a HLS recipient would mean to them. Given their combined lived experience, they were indeed powerful reads. On behalf of the Ledger family, the Patrons of the Scholarship and the Board of AiF we congratulate them all.”

The six finalists have now recorded additional material, which will be sent to the final scholarship jury, made up of iconic Australian actors Chris Hemsworth and Jacki Weaver, acclaimed director Rachel Perkins, leading casting director Nina Gold and award-winning US actor Alia Shawkat.

Prizes this year include a US$10,000 cash prize to support the recipient with living expenses in the US while studying, a return economy flight to the US, plus a stack of educational training and career preparation worth over AUS$50,000.

The scholarship winner will get speech and dialect coaching, private acting coaching, headshots, immigration advice, personal styling, and even meditation classes.

The Encanto Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Is Now Available From Walt Disney Records

Available now from Walt Disney Records, the Encanto Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Encanto Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features eight original songs by Tony®- and Grammy®-winning songwriter/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton,” “Moana) with original score by award-winning composer Germaine Franco (Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Little,” “Tag).   The soundtrack also features Colombia, Mi Encanto by Carlos Vives and Sebastián Yatra performs the original song Dos Oruguitas” in Spanish in the film, as well as the English language version of the song, in the end-credits. The physical soundtrack will be available on Dec. 17. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto opens in Australian cinemas on December 2, 2021.

On diving into the music of the Colombian-set story, Miranda said A lot of the rhythms are familiar to me, but the instrumentation and orchestration are different and often unique to Colombia.  One of the most fun things is that the accordion is so central to the music. It was really a joy immersing myself in artists I didnt know and doing deeper dives into those Ive grown up lovinglike Carlos Vives, who were lucky enough to work with on this movie. This entire process has been about falling in love with Colombian music and culture and getting to play in that space.

Miranda wrote and produced eight original songs for Encanto. Mike Elizondo (“96,000” from In The Heights,” “My Shot (Rise Up Remix) from The Hamilton Mixtape) co-produced the songs. I hope audiences come away singing these songs just like so many classic Disney movies, said Elizondo. There are so many positive messages about family and our relationships to one another. I also hope they realize how much variety there is in Colombian music. I learned so much about their rhythms and styles during the production process and I hope the audience can use the soundtrack as a gateway to discover Colombian music.

The Encanto Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features eight original songs and a full original score, plus one reprise and one end-credit version of a song from the film. The digital version of the soundtrack also includes instrumental versions of the songs. 

Award-winning composer Germaine Franco is behind the original score for Encanto. Franco worked closely with filmmakers and Miranda to create a signature score that complemented the songs and story.

Commenting on the score, Franco said, Collaborating with Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Charise Castro Smith, and Yvett Merino was a dream!  We created new textures and sonorities, using traditional Colombian instruments such as tiples, bandolas, cununos, marimba de chonta, arpa llanera from Latin America mixed with orchestra. The sound of the score is infused with many Colombian rhythmic styles including bambuco, mapalé, cumbia, and joropo. The score weaves in and out of the beautiful songs of Lin-Manuel Miranda. I hope that the musical imagery of the score evokes the resonant landscape of Colombia, the tenacity of our lead character, Mirabel, the strength of family, and our shared humanity.

Encanto is directed by Jared Bush (co-director Zootopia) and Byron Howard (Zootopia,” “Tangled), co-directed by Charise Castro Smith (writer The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez) and produced by Yvett Merino, p.g.a., and Clark Spencer, p.g.a.  Castro Smith and Bush are screenwriters on the film.

In the film, the magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to healevery child except one, Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional familys last hope. The voice cast includes Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, Wilmer Valderrama, Adassa, Diane Guerrero, Mauro Castillo, Angie Cepeda, Jessica Darrow, Rhenzy Feliz and Carolina Gaitán. 

You can watch the Music Featurette below:

A New Trailer For “Nightmare Alley” Is Now AVAILABLE

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Release date: In Cinemas January 20, 2022

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, David Strathairn

Synopsis: In Nightmare Alley, an ambitious carnival worker (Bradley Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is. A film by Guillermo del Toro.

The Official Poster & Trailer For Wyrmwood: Apocalypse Has Just Dropped

Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is a post-apocalyptic zombie film that follows soldier Rhys who lives in a zombie-infested Australian wasteland. Rhys is on an arc of redemption as he turns against his evil bosses and joins forces with a group of rebel survivors to help rescue a girl who holds the cure to the virus.

The film which has been hailed as ‘Mad Max Meets Dawn Of the Dead’ – has picked up an audience award at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival for Best Feature Film.

Release Date: February 10,2022

Cast: Luke McKenzie as Rhys, Shantae Barnes Cowan as Maxi, Jake Ryan as the Colonel, Bianca Bradey as Brooke, Tasia Zalar as Grace, Jay Gallagher as Barry and Nick Boshier as the Surgeon General

Directed By: Kiah Roache-Turner

Written By: Kiah & Tristan Roache-Turner

Produced By: Tristan Roache-Turner & Blake Northfield

Check out the trailer below:

Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” Introduces Film’s Heartthrob Boy Band 4*Town

According to Turning Red” director Domee Shi, if you set a 13-year-old girls coming-of-age story in the early 2000s, its pretty much mandatory to include a boy band. We needed our character Mei to be obsessed with something that her mom would not approve of, said Shi. Boy bands were the first step into the world of boys for a lot of girls that age. The guys were all super pretty, polished, soft and loving, and they had of way of bringing girls and their besties together. Plus, I thought itd be really cool to create an animated boy band.

Enter Pixars first-ever boy band, 4*Town. Filmmakers called on GRAMMY®-winning singer-songwriters Billie Eilish and FINNEAS to write the fictional bands songsthree in total, including the song Nobody Like U featured in the new trailer. When we first started talking about Billie Eilish and FINNEASback before theyd won a billion GRAMMYSwe could see then how they had their finger on the pulse, said producer Lindsey Collins. We were big fans. We met with them and pitched this crazy idea of a boy band, asking if theyd be interested in writing and producing the songs. They were! 

Eilish, whose sophomore album, Happier Than Ever, debuted at No. 1 in the Billboard 200 in the U.S. and in 19 countries worldwide, made history as the youngest artist to win in all the major categories at the 62nd GRAMMY® Awards, receiving an award for best new artist, album of the year, record of the year, song of the year, and best pop vocal album.

FINNEAS, the youngest ever to win the GRAMMY® for producer of the year (non-classical), built a sterling discography penning and producing smashes for a cadre of superstarsnot only for his sister, Billie Eilish, but also Justin Bieber,  Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Tove Lo, Kid Cudi and Ben Platt, among others. His debut solo album Optimist is out now.

GRAMMY®-, Oscar®- and Emmy®-winning Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther,” “The Mandalorian) is composing the score for Turning Red.” “Ive been a fan of his for a while, said Shi. We were drawn to his versatilityhes a composer, but he also produces pop music. We knew he would help us create a very unique sound.

Joining previously announced Rosalie Chiang and Sandra Oh, who lend their voices to Mei and her mother Ming, are Orion Lee as the voice of Meis dad, Jin, and Wai Ching Ho as the voice of Grandma. Meis tightknit group of friends are voiced by Ava Morse as Miriam, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Priya, and Hyein Park as Abby. Tristan Allerick Chen voices classmate Tyler, and Addie Chandler lends his voice to Meis secret crush Devon. Providing the harmonious voices of the members of 4*Town are Jordan Fisher, Grayson Villanueva, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo and Finneas OConnell. Rounding out the voice cast are James Hong, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillian Lim, Mia Tagano, Sherry Cola, Sasha Roiz and Lily Sanfelippo. 


Disney and PixarTurning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mothers dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughteran unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body werent enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she poofs into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award® winner Domee Shi (Pixar short Bao) and produced by Lindsey Collins Turning Red releases March 31, 2022.

You can view the new trailer below:

Walt Disney Australia Release Schedule As Of November 2021…The Countdown Begins NOW

2021 has been a tough year for the movie industry. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to drastically affect the world, the year’s biggest films were caught in the crossfire which resulted in a number of setbacks and cancellations brought upon by the pandemic. However, Walt Disney Australia has decided to put some of these skepticisms to rest, with the company revealing their Australian release schedule for all their films until 2023. Without further ado, check out Walt Disney Australia’s release schedule as of November 2021.

The Trailer & Release Date For BERGMAN ISLAND Has Just Dropped

Maslow Entertainment has recently announced the release date for, BERGMAN ISLAND. Directed and written by Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden, Things to Come) and starring Mia Wasikowska (Judy & Punch, Tracks, The Kids Are All Right), Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight), Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, OLD) and Anders Danielsen Lie (22 July, Personal Shopper, The Worst Person In The World), the beguiling drama about life, love, and art is set to arrive in Australian cinemas nationally on January 6, 2022. The film will be distributed by Maslow Entertainment in partnership with Umbrella Entertainment.

A filmmaking couple, Chris (Krieps) and Tony (Roth), retreat to the breathtaking and mythical Fårö Island in Sweden for the Summer, a place where the legendary director Ingmar Bergman shot some of his most celebrated films. While hoping to find creative inspiration, but spending most of their days apart, memories of Chris’ first love are evoked and the lines between reality and fiction progressively begin to blur, ultimately making her question her current relationship.


Check out the trailer below:

A New “Sneak Peek” At Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” Just Dropped

Rachel Zegler as Maria and Ansel Elgort as Tony in 20th Century Studios’ WEST SIDE STORY. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.


The Walt Disney Company released a new sneak peek  at Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielbergs film adaptation of the musical West Side Story, which will open in Australian cinemas on Boxing Day, 2021.

Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tony Kushner, West Side Story tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Brian dArcy James (Officer Krupke); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); with Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works); and introducing Rachel Zegler (Maria.) Moreno – one of only three artists to be honored with Academy®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, Tony®, and Peabody Awards  also serves as one of the films executive producers. 

Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the films creative team includes Kushner, who also served as an executive producer; Tony Award® winner Justin Peck, who choreographed the musical numbers in the film; renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor and GRAMMY Award® winner Gustavo Dudamel, who helmed the recording of the iconic score; Academy Award®-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia), who arranged the score, Tony Award®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie), who supervised the cast on vocals; and GRAMMY®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast,” “Chicago), who serves as executive music producer for the film. The film is produced by Spielberg, p.g.a., Academy Award®-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger, p.g.a. and Tony Award®-winning producer Kevin McCollum. West Side Story” has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway show. Original choreography by Jerome Robbins, based on the stage play, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, play conceived, directed, and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, music by Leonard Bernstein. 

From 20th Century Studios, The Walt Disney Company will release West Side Story in Australian cinemas on Boxing Day, 2021.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Vanessa Lastro of Disney

Revealed: Meet The Winners & Grinners From The Sydney Multicultural Film Awards 2021!

SMFA (Sydney Multicultural Film Awards) is excited to reveal the list of winners from the 2021 Sydney Multicultural Film Awards. The festival received over 110 film submissions from directors and producers all over the world across 15 categories.

SMFA is an award ceremony that celebrates the talent coming from creatives from all around the world, with a focus on inclusion, diversity, and multiculturalism. Set in Sydney, this festival offers a beautiful backdrop and home to the awards ceremony.

After considering a strong field of 110 submissions, our judges have voted to determine this year’s nominees and finalists. These submissions represent the best and most affecting short films to come out of the past year.

Without further ado, check out the full list of winners at this year’s Sydney Multicultural Film Awards:

Best Original Score

The Ribbon WINNER
Happy Birthday Dear

Best Cinematography

A Section from Troy
You Are The One
A Cry For Help

Best Editor

You Are The One

Best Screenplay

Tales of Lovely Locked Losing Heroes WINNER

Best Short Film Documentary

Dajla: cinema and oblivion – Arturo Dueñas Herrero (Spain) WINNER
Refugee’s welcome, Kostiantyn Mishchenko
Pacing the Pool, Jay Jay Jegathesan, (Australia)

Best Short Animation

Ballad of Pipe and Necklace- Martin Babić ( Croatia) WINNER
Painting By Numbers, Radheya Jegatheva (Australia)
The Leaf, Leonardo Sá (Canada)

Best Experimental

Below A Dark Wood – Bill Slovick (United States) WINNER
TalkingWe Is Easy, Being Us – JOESÉR ALVAREZ, ARIANA BOAVENTURA (Brazil)

Best Music Video

G.O.F – Fairy Temple – Radheya Jegatheva  WINNER
Stevan, Hope It’s Not – Jedi Kang
Leave It On The Line – Teddy Grossman (United States)
From What You Left Behind- – Jodhi Ramsden-Mavric
A Little Déjà Vu- Anna Lia ALVISI (Australia)
WHERE I’M FROM – Pascal Tessaud (France)

Best Short Film

Tyrannosaur and the Secret Garden (Director’s Cut) WINNER
Sorrow, Stefan Teofilovic, (Serbia)
Holestepper (Pisahueco), Sergio Fernández Muñoz (Peru)
Karmina, Wiktor Ejsmont (Poland)
Other, Samantha Jean (United States)
Mr.Sisyphus, Jedi Kang (Korea)
Ceci N’est Pas Une Pomme (This is Not An Apple), Miguel Sebastian Romero (United States)
A Cry For Help, Steven Esteb (United States)

Best Child Actor

Milas Tagebuch (Milas Diary) WINNER

Best Supporting Actor

Akebo – Donne Ngabo (Theogene) (Theogene) WINNER
(Theogene) Red Sin – Owen Hu

Best Supporting Actress

Self Therapy – Luca Leyers, Ine SchoemansOther WINNER
Other- Samantha Jean

Best Director

Story of A Story – Debajit Banerjee (Australia) WINNER
Ceci N’est Pas Une Pomme (This is Not An Apple) – Miguel Sebastian Romero (United States)
You Are The One – Shimul Shikder (MD AKTHERUZZAMAN)
Harmonica – Yalçın Dilsiz (Turkey)
Red Sin – Christopher Ortiz (United States)

Best Actress

Akebo – Aurore Girabanyu (Uwineza) WINNER
Other – Mandie Cheung (United States)
Ceci N’est Pas Une Pomme (This Is Not An Apple) – Shirley Kim Nguyen (United States)

Best Actor

Road.Dogs – Wol Riak (Krown) WINNER
Soul Catcher – Jay Jay Jegathesan
Sisyphus – Sungwoo Kang
The Writer’s Journey – Flip Sertic (United States)

The Trailer For Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch Has Just Dropped

From Director WES ANDERSON


Synopsis: THE FRENCH DISPATCH brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city.

Check out the trailer below: