First Day Wins Prestigious Rose d’Or Award

First Day Wins Prestigious Rose d’Or Award

Four-part Australian children’s drama First Day (Epic Films) has been awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award for best Children and Youth Series.

Accepting the international award in a virtual ceremony held on December 9, writer and director Julie Kalceff said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be the recipients of the Rose d’Or – we wish we could be there in person to celebrate. A huge thanks to all our support, cast, crew and a special thanks to Evie MacDonald who brought this character to life. This series would be nothing without her and her performance”.

Lead actress Evie MacDonald added: “I also wanted to say thank you so much for letting me be a part of something so amazing. This honestly means the world to me. Thank you so much to everyone who showed their love and support [for the series]”.  

Formerly held as part of Eurovision, this year the Rose d’Or awards celebrate 59 years of defining the gold standard for excellence and achievement in entertainment programming. Winners were selected from 766 entries across 12 categories. Shortlisting was undertaken by more than 80 international judges from across the television industry.

Fellow finalists in First Day’s division include Malory Towers (Canada), Never Have I Ever (USA), FYI Investigates: Children Caught in the Crossfire (USA), The Tiger Who Came to Tea (UK) and Nighthawks (Belgium).

Created and written by Julie Kalceff and produced by Kirsty Stark and Kate Croser, First Day follows the story of Hannah Bradford’s first days of high school. As a transgender girl, Hannah not only has to navigate the challenges that come with starting a new school, but find the courage to live as her most authentic self.


In November, First Day received First Prize in the Live Action Television category at the Chicago International Film Festival. It was also nominated for this year’s Japan Prize, AACTA Awards and ATOM Awards, and will be competing in two prize divisions at the 2021 Kidscreen Awards.

The series has been popular both at home and overseas. The series was commissioned by ABCME in Australia, after the ABC originally commissioned a half-hour special of the same name for its International Day of the Girl Initiative. In July, the ACTF secured a deal with the UK’s public broadcaster BBC to screen the First Day series on its children’s channel, CBBC. In September, SVOD juggernaut Hulu began streaming exclusively in the U.S. Further sales of the series include YLE (Finland), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden), Hot TV (Israel), TVNZ (New Zealand) and MOMOKIDS (Taiwan).

The ACTF congratulates the First Day team on another fabulous accolade this year.

First Day is produced by Epic Films in association with Kojo Entertainment, with investment from Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the ACTF. The Australian Children’s Television Foundation distributes First Day internationally.