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Drama Awards 2019

ABC kids pair get Screen Oz boost

First Day was created for Screen Australia and ABC Children’s Girls initiative

Two ABC kids’ series are among the beneficiaries of the latest multimillion-dollar tranche of production funding awarded by Screen Australia.

First Day is a four-part series about a 12-year-old transgender girl navigating the challenges of starting high school and living life as herself.

The series is based on the stand-alone episode created in 2017 through Screen Australia and ABC Children’s Girls initiative, designed to uncover the next generation of Australian female content makers.

The episode won the inaugural Mipcom Diversify TV Excellence Award for Kids’ Programming and the Gender Equity Prize at the Prix Jeunesse International Children’s Television Festival in 2018.

First Day is written and directed by Julie Kalceff, creator of online drama Starting From Now, and will star Evie Macdonald. The producers are Kirsty Stark (Unboxed) and Kate Croser (Top End Wedding), with Kate Butler coproducing.

The project was commissioned by ABC Children’s and financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

It has now received additional support from Screen Australia’s latest A$5.7m (US$4m) funding award, shared among three features, two online projects and another ABC children’s series, Kangaroo Beach.

The latter is a 26-part animated series focusing on the adventures of four junior animal lifeguards. It was created by Tim Bain, who has written for global hits such as PJ Masks, Fireman Sam and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Charlotte Rose Hamlyn (Blinky Bill), Simon Dodd (Spongo, Fuzz & Jalapena) and Samantha Carroll (The Deep) are also among Kangaroo Beach’s writers. The producers are Celine Goetz and Isla Curtis, and executive producer Patrick Egerton from Cheeky Little Media (Kazoops!). UYoung Media has also backed the show.

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Drama Awards 2019
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