The ABC drama First Day has won the inaugural prize for outstanding children's programming across all genres at the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards.
The international awards celebrating diversity and inclusion were announced at the world's biggest television market in Cannes on 16 October. ABC ME's First Day was recognised for promoting understanding and acceptance of children who are transitioning, through the story of a transgender girl starting high school.
The character of Hannah is played by Evie Macdonald, a 12-year-old transgender girl in her first acting role – making First Day the only scripted drama with a transgender actor in the lead role to be commissioned for Australian television.
The program also won the prestigious Prix Jeunesse Gender Equity Prize in May, voted on by 550 children's television experts from 65 countries.
ABC Children's Head Libbie Doherty said: "The ABC is thrilled that our distinctive children's content is making its mark all around the world. The MIPCOM Children's Diversify Award for ABC ME's First Day adds to the program's already impressive list of gongs, including a Prix Jeunesse prize in May.
"Congratulations to writer/director Julie Kalceff and producer Kirsty Stark for their sensitive storytelling about the challenges and joys of a transgender teenager. Evie Macdonald's debut performance is fantastic and it's wonderful for her to receive this recognition on an international stage."
First Day was produced by Epic Films and commissioned through an ABC and Screen Australia join initiative to celebrate International Day of the Girl.
ABC ME program Mardi Gras + Me, which follows a group of young people as they prepare to march in the 40th Sydney Mardi Gras Parade, was also nominated for a MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Award.