Ledger, who died in January of this year from an accidental overdose of various and anxiety and sleep medications, will be remembered with the 2008 Chauvel Award, which is given in recognition of his contribution to Australian cinema. This is the first time in sixteen years that the award will be given posthumously.
Only twenty-eight years of age at his death, Ledger was the star of many films, including the 2005 “Brokback Mountain” and the newly released “The Dark Knight”. His portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in “Brokeback” garnered a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards.
Rod Welford, the Queensland art minister, speaking today of Ledger at the program launch for the festival, commented, “There have been many others who have drawn focus to the Australian film industry either through their own personal achievements in their field or their consistent and staunch support for Australian film-making. Heath Ledger did both, and his passing highlighted how loved and revered he was – not just by fans, but by the Australian film-making community.”
The Brisbane International Film Festival will take place from July 31st through August 10th. For more information please visit www.biff.com.au .