Screen Australia has announced over $5.7 million in production funding for a number of upcoming projects, including children’s television series First Day.
The four-part series will follow 12-year-old transgender girl Hannah as she navigates the challenges of starting high school and finding the courage to live her most authentic self.
It is slated to be the first Australian children’s series featuring a transgender lead.
The funding will also support a psychological thriller from director Daina Reid called Run Rabbit Run and a film adaptation of Leah Purcell’s award-winning play The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson.
Chief Executive of Screen Australia, Graeme Mason, said he was excited to support projects offering audiences the opportunity to connect with Australian experiences and perspectives “that are rarely seen on our screens”.
“In First Day we see an authentic portrayal of personal growth and acceptance,” he said.
“I’m confident that [this] will resonate with viewers.”
First Day is based on the stand-alone episode created in 2017 through Screen Australia and ABC Children’s ‘Girls Initiative’, a funding program to uncover and support the next generation of Australian women content makers.
The series will be written and directed by Julie Kalceff and will star Evie Macdonald as Hannah.
Macdonald is a long-time trans advocate. In 2017, she became the first Australian trans person to walk the runway in the International Kids Fashion Parade.
And in 2018, she called out Prime Minister Scott Morrison on The Project after he ridiculed teachers trained in trans inclusion as “gender whisperers”.
Macdonald said Morrison should say sorry for promoting the idea that “kids should be kids – unless they’re gender diverse.”