Born in Western Australia to Zimbabwean parents, Charmaine Bingwa is the first openly gay and woman of colour to win the $US30,000 Heath Ledger Scholarship presented by Australians in Film.
“I’m stunned; this is an incredible platform,” Bingwa told If after accepting the award from Heath Ledger’s father Kim Ledger today at a dinner attended by eight of the 10 finalists at the Chateau Marmon in Los Angeles.
In her acceptance speech she told how Heath touched her life when she saw Brokeback Mountain. His character’s lines about ‘the pain of a life not lived’ inspired her to come out as a gay woman, she said.
“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,
Charmaine Bingwa wins Heath Ledger Scholarship