Ground-breaking ABC series First Day and Content have won prestigious Rose d’Or Awards, celebrating screen excellence and achievement from around the world.
The ABC programs were Australia’s only winners at the international awards, which attracted more than 760 entries from every major territory in the world.
ABC ME series First Day, produced by Epic Films, won the Children and Youth Award for its powerful story about a transgender girl starting high school and finding the courage to live as her most authentic self. Content, produced by Ludo Studio, won the Rose d’Or for best Social Media and Video Series. The vertical viewing series was the world’s first comedy show set entirely on a smartphone – telling the story of a millennial whose life changes when a car crash turns her into a global meme.
First Day and Content, which are available to watch now on ABC iview, beat finalists from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Nominees for the 59th Rose d’Or Awards were chosen by over 80 international judges from across the television industry.
Libbie Doherty, ABC Head of Children’s Production, said the Rose d’Or Award win showed how authentic Australian content resonated here and overseas. “This is a phenomenal win for First Day and the amazingly talented transgender actor Evie Macdonald,” she said.
“The series enables trans children and their families to see themselves and their stories reflected on screen in a beautiful and sensitive child-centric way, which has resonated with young people and the international transgender community. Congratulations to ABC ME, writer-director Julie Kalceff, producers Kirsty Stark and Kate Croser and Epic Films, for helping to bring wider understanding and empathy to the world.”
Sally Riley, ABC Head of Drama, Entertainment & Indigenous content, said: “The ABC is incredibly proud of this team and the boundaries Content pushed in terms of form and story. Congratulations to Ludo Studio, Meg O’Connell, Anna Barnes and the team. We are deeply proud of the bold and fearless storytelling that Ludo and the ABC championed on this show.”
The Rose d’Or Award caps off an extraordinary run of success for the ABC Children’s team, which this year has won two International Kids Emmy Awards (for Bluey and Hardball), two Prix Jeunesse International Awards (Hardball and The Unlisted), a Rockie Award at the Banff World Media Festival (Hardball), a MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Award (And Then Something Changed) and an AACTA Award (Bluey).
The 2019 series First Day and the 2017 stand-alone film on which it is based – 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 across all genres at the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards and the prestigious Prix Jeunesse Gender Equity Prize, voted on by 550 children’s television experts from 65 countries.