The awards ceremony in Cannes.
Epic Films’ First Day has won the inaugural prize for excellence in kids’ programming in all genres at the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards in Cannes.
In a dual honour for Australia, Seven Studios’ Home and Away received the award for representation of LGBTQ, scripted. This year Darius Williams joined the cast as gay character Ty in the soap’s first LGBTQ storyline in nine years.
Written and directed by Julie Kalceff and produced by Kirsty Stark, First Day starred Evie Macdonald in her screen debut as Hannah, who attends school for the first time as a transgender girl.
Commissioned by an ABC/Screen Australia initiative to celebrate the International Day of the Girl, the show won the Prix Jeunesse Gender Equity Prize in Munich.
Kalceff thanked MIPCOM for recognizing the importance of diversity in television, particularly in children’s programming, Macdonald and the ABC and Screen Australia.
“It’s an exciting time for filmmakers with support from within the industry and demand from audiences for greater diversity. It’s an opportunity to explore stories and characters we haven’t yet seen on screen,” she tells IF.
“First Day was the first time a transgender actor has been cast in the lead role of an Australian TV episode. The fact that this screened on our national broadcaster meant a great deal to so many people. It wouldn’t have the impact it’s had without the incredibly talented Evie Macdonald in the lead. It’s been a privilege working with her and witnessing first-hand the profound impact she has on everyone she meets.”
Screen Australia and the ABC are funding the development of a First Day series.
SBS/Generator Pictures’ Homecoming Queens and ABC ME’s Mardi Gras + Me were also among the 21 shows from around the world that were nominated for the second edition of the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards, which are dedicated to championing and promoting diversity and inclusion in all forms across the international television industry.
The winning programs were chosen by charitable organisations and specialised publications that campaign for equality and inclusion including Gadim, Gay Star News, GLAAD, Minority Rights Group International, Race Equality Foundation and Scope.
The full list of winners:
MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Race and Ethnicity, Scripted
The Boy with the Topknot, BBC Two (UK), produced by Kudos Film & Television and Parti Productions, distributed by Endemol Shine International
MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Race and Ethnicity, Non-Scripted
Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class, PBS (USA), produced by Public Square Media, distributed by Scorpion TV
MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of LGBTQ, Scripted
Home and Away, Seven Network Australia (Australia), produced by Seven Studios Australia, distributed by Endemol Shine International
MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of LGBTQ, Non-Scripted
My House, VICELAND (USA), produced and distributed by VICE MEDIA
MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Disability, Scripted
Blind Donna, YLE (Finland), produced by Production House, distributed by YLE Sales
MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Disability, Non-Scripted
Different Like Me, BBC Three (UK), produced by Hello Halo, distributed by BBC Studios
MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Kids’ Programming (all genres)
First Day, ABC ME (Australia), produced and distributed by Epic Films