Nicole Kidman is honouring the man who helped launch her stellar career, the late Brian Walsh, by sponsoring an award for emerging actors.
The international superstar has instigated and funded the award, which will be presented at the
Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA).
Walsh, a legend in the Australian entertainment industry and Foxtel executive director, died in March aged 68.
AACTA said the Brian Walsh Award for Emerging Talent is “a prestigious award aimed at discovering and nurturing the next generation of Australian actors”.
The award will recognise the innovation, dedication and passion exhibited by actors still in the early stages of their careers.
Winners will be provided support and exposure to Australia’s television and film landscape, and receive $50,000, put up by Kidman, towards their career development.
Kidman said Brian Walsh played an important and influential role in the careers of many, including her own.
“I considered him family and for that reason I approached AACTA with a view to creating a legacy in his name worthy of Brian’s long and substantial career,” she said.
Kidman shared a long-term friendship with Walsh, beginning at the infancy of her career, working on the acclaimed series Vietnam (1987) and Bangkok Hilton (1989).
Mr Walsh died unexpectedly of an undisclosed medical episode in Sydney on March 16, aged 68, leaving behind a legacy of incredible achievements in Australia’s media industry.
Crowds packed St Mary’s Cathedral for his funeral, including celebrities Richard Wilkins, Eddie McGuire, and Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch.
AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said the organisation is incredibly grateful for Ms Kidman’s contribution.
“Nicole’s longstanding friendship with Brian and unwavering support for emerging talent embody the spirit of this award,” he said.
“This award not only celebrates the dedication and passion of emerging actors but also symbolises a commitment to shaping the future of Australia’s screen industry.”
Mr Walsh held senior positions with Network Ten and Sky UK, before joining Foxtel in 1994, where he’d remain for 28 years.
The Brian Walsh Award is open to emerging actors, over the age of 18, with fewer than five years of professional, credited experience, and cannot have previously been nominated for an AACTA Award, excluding the AACTA Award for Best Short Film.