ABC ME series First Day has won an international award celebrating programs for their fair, accurate and inclusive representation of LGBTQ people and the issues that affect their lives.
The series about a transgender girl starting high school was joint winner of the award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming at the 2021 GLAAD Media Awards, announced last week.
First Day was the only Australian program recognised at the annual awards, which promote diverse and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, sending powerful messages of acceptance to audiences globally.
ABC Children’s Head Libbie Doherty said the multi award-winning First Day resonated strongly with young people and the international transgender community. “GLAAD is an incredibly respected organisation in the LGBTQI community and to have the nod from them in a very strong field is really exciting,” she said.
“Congratulations to the ABC ME team, along with writer-director Julie Kalceff, producers Kirsty Stark and Kate Croser, Epic Films and the talented transgender actor Evie Macdonald. The nuance and tenderness that Evie brings to the role are why it continues to win awards all over the world.”
Actor Evie MacDonald, the first transgender actor to play the lead role in an Australian scripted drama, said: “This honestly means the world to me and thank you so much to everyone for just being so amazing and showing love and support.”
Writer/director Julie Kalceff said: “Thank you to everyone who’s watched First Day and thank you to GLAAD for the work they do to ensure diverse and accurate representation of LGBTQ people on screen.”
First Day, produced by Epic Films for the ABC and subsequently broadcast on Hulu in the United States, has won multiple international awards for its powerful story about a transgender girl finding the courage to live as her most authentic self.
In 2019, the series won the prestigious Rose d’Or Award for best Children and Youth program, which celebrates screen excellence and achievement from around the world.
The 2019 series and the 2017 stand-alone film on which it is based – which was commissioned through an ABC and Screen Australia joint initiative to celebrate International Day of the Girl – have also won the inaugural prize for outstanding children’s programming at the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards and the Prix Jeunesse Gender Equity Prize, voted on by 550 children’s television experts from 65 countries.