First Day has won the Gender Equity Prize at the prestigious Prix Jeunesse International Children’s Television Festival, and been awarded second place in the 7-10 Year Fiction category, behind the BBC’s Revolting Rhymes.

Producer Kirsty Stark, Writer/Director Julie Kalceff and Drama Coach Julia Billington were in Munich to accept the award, at a ceremony celebrating the world’s best children’s television from the past two years.

In awarding the gender equity prize, the jury commented:

First Day is the story of Hannah, a transgender girl starting high school. First Day is a down to earth, yet sensitive representation of transgender in the universal and recognisable setting of the school. Bringing forth the transgender theme with regards to identity formation of children, gendering structures in the school system (i.e. school uniforms) and social processes among peers. The juror liked specifically the very positive portrayal of a transgender child and a critical conversation that children’s television should engage with. The fact that the protagonist’s role is performed by someone who is transgender in real life is an extremely powerful thing.

Accepting the award, Julie thanked our amazing cast and crew, highlighting lead actor Evie Macdonald and her Mum Meagan for their incredible commitment to the project. Huge thanks also went to commissioning editor Libbie Doherty and the ABC Children’s team, and Screen Australia, for supporting such an important show.



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