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Production commences on First Day in South Australia

09 July 2019

Production on groundbreaking ABC children’s series FIRST DAY has commenced in Adelaide, produced by South Australia’s Epic Films in association with Kojo Entertainment with investment from Screen Australia, the South Australian Film Corporation and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

The 4-part series builds on the highly acclaimed stand-alone episode commissioned in 2017, which was awarded the Diversity TV Excellence Award for Kids’ Programming at MIPCOM, the Gender Equity Prize at the prestigious Prix Jeunesse International, Best Children’s Series (Fiction) at Fan Chile, in addition to Best Screenplay and the Audience Award at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney.

South Australia’s Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni congratulated Epic Films’ Kirsty Stark on bringing this series to South Australia for production.

“Epic Films is a leading innovator in the local screen industry and Kirsty Stark, both through her own company and as head of Matchbox SA, is securing a pipeline of production for South Australia,” Minister Pisoni said.

“We are thrilled to see a return to production in the children’s television sector, and to see so many South Australian Heads of Department in key creative roles on this series.”

Kirsty Stark’s Epic Films won the Screen Producers Australian Breakthrough Business Awards in 2016, and she has produced screen content across TV, feature film and online platforms including groundbreaking series Wastelander Panda, ABC series Goober, feature film A Month of Sundays starring Anthony La Paglia which was selected for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and the first episode of First Day.

Kirsty Stark said “Having travelled around the world with the original episode of First Day, it’s fantastic to now be shooting our full series back home in Adelaide. Kate and I are really excited to have Julie and Evie here in South Australia, to work with our amazing local cast and crew.”

First Day stars young Evie Macdonald as Hannah Bradford, a 12 year old transgender girl navigating her first terms of high school. She 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.

The series is written and directed by the creator of hit online drama Starting from Now Julie Kalceff, who said “I feel very privileged to be telling this story. I’m excited about working with Evie again and to have the opportunity to explore Hannah’s journey in more detail.”

FIRST DAY is produced by Kirsty Stark (Unboxed) and Kate Croser (Top End Wedding), and co-produced by Kate Butler and Julie Kalceff. Director of Photography is Meg White, with Production Design by Robert Webb and Costume Design by Renate Henschke. Editor is Christine Cheung. 

Read the full release here

Featured image:
Centre (L-R): Cinematographer Meg White, Director Julie Kalceff
Foreground (L-R): Nandini Rajagopal as Natalie, Evie Macdonald as Hannah, Elena Liu as Olivia
Photo credit: Photo by Ian Routledge. Courtesy of Epic Films.

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