FIRST DAY A new drama series about a transgender girl’s first year of high school
FIRST DAY, a new drama series about a transgender girl navigating her first year of high school, will premiere on ABC Me from March 30.
The 4 x half hour series stars transgender actor Evie Macdonald as Hannah, who must face the challenges that come with starting a new school, but also find the courage to live as her most authentic self.
FIRST DAY is Evie Macdonald’s first acting role. She has been involved with raising awareness about transgender young people and has appeared on television, radio and in print and on-line media articles fighting for the rights of trans and gender diverse young people. She has spoken to influencers, leaders and visited Parliament House in Canberra to campaign for rights and law reform. Evie has also been a successful model for many years.
Evie says: “Growing up trans, you can feel alone a lot. I really identified with the series when I read the scripts – a lot of what is in the show is stuff that I went through. I think that when people watch the series they’re going to think ‘Hannah is just like me… she’s not that different’. I really want people to see and feel that.”
The series also features Isabel Burmester (The Hunting), Brenna Harding (Puberty Blues), Elena Liu (Girls Change the World) and Jo Hunt (Here Come the Habibs).
The series was written and directed by Julie Kalceff (Starting from Now), produced by Kirsty Stark and Kate Croser, and co-produced by Kate Butler and Julie Kalceff.
Julie says: “With FIRST DAY, I not only want to increase visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community, but to tell an uplifting story of empowerment about a transgender teenager. My hope is that this will increase understanding and acceptance amongst the target audience and the wider community, and help give a voice to those who struggle as a direct result of not seeing themselves represented on screen.
“I have a personal connection to the subject matter and know a number of transgender people and parents of transgender children. However, I acknowledge that I am not transgender and, in many regards, this is not my story to tell. It was extremely important therefore to me, producer Kirsty Stark, the ABC, and Screen Australia to cast a transgender girl in the lead role. We were incredibly fortunate to be able to cast the talented Evie Macdonald as Hannah. Although scripted, this is Evie’s story and it’s our job to ensure she has the tools and support she needs to tell it. The courage, maturity, natural ability and talent Evie has shown throughout this process is inspirational.”
Julie is a writer, director and producer who has been working in the film and television industry for over 15 years. She created, wrote, directed and produced the international hit online drama Starting From Now. Attracting both critical and popular acclaim, the series is one of the world’s most watched web series with over 130 million views in 230 countries.
In 2017, Julie was commissioned by the ABC to write and direct FIRST DAY, a stand-alone television episode about a 12 year-old transgender girl starting high school. FIRST DAY, which starred Evie Macdonald, won the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Award for Kids’ Programming and the Gender Equity Prize at the prestigious Prix Jeunesse International Children’s Television Festival. In 2019, FIRST DAY was commissioned by the ABC as a 4 x half-hour children’s television series.
An Epic Films Production in association with KOJO Entertainment
Written and Directed by Julie Kalceff
Produced by Kirsty Stark & Kate Croser
Co-Produced by Kate Butler & Julie Kalceff
Starring Evie Macdonald, Isabel Burmester, Elena Liu, Jo Hunt & Brenna Harding.
Premiere Date: March 30, 4.30pm ABC ME
Running time: 4x 24 minute episodes
Produced and Filmed in South Australia Principal Development and Production Funding from Screen Australia Financed with the Assistance of the South Australian Film Corporation Distributed by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation Developed and Produced in Association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation