/News 30.09.20



South Australian shot and produced children’s series First Day has received rave reviews internationally after its recent premieres in the US and UK.

Produced by South Australia’s Epic Films in association with KOJO Entertainment, First Day follows transgender teen Hannah, played by young transgender actor Evie Macdonald, as she navigates her first year of high school.

Premiering on US streamer Hulu this month, following its UK premiere in August on CBBC, the series has been praised by US LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD for its sensitive portrayal of a young girl’s experience being transgender. 

“This series is a wholesome, age-appropriate story about being yourself, and is a much-needed departure from transgender narratives that focus on medical transition and trauma. I hope viewers will watch First Day and learn more about the experiences of kids who are trans,” GLAAD Director of Transgender Representation Nick Adams told Chicago Pride.

Adams praised a “beautiful performance” by Macdonald and the team at Epic Films, who worked closely with her to authentically capture what it’s like to be a young girl who happens to be transgender.

In a review for UK media outlet HITC, writer Christopher Weston emphasised First Day’s universal appeal.

“This isn’t your disposable, everyday show. Instead, First Day invites parents and audiences to consider what is being explored and generate discussion within households. It’s already being heralded as a heartfelt, educational and impressive piece of work,” he said.

The South Australian Film Corporation supported series has also been sold to YLE (Finland), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden), Hot TV (Israel), TVNZ (New Zealand) and MOMOKIDS (Taiwan).


South Australian filmed sci-fi 2067 and drama Chasing Wonders are set to have their world premieres at the 2020 Adelaide Film Festival in October, one of the first film festivals in the world to return to cinemas this year.

The festival will open on 14 October with the world premiere of Adelaide Studios shot 2067, a futuristic thriller about one man’s journey to save a dying world. Written and directed by Seth Larney, 2067 stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, X-Men: Apocalypse), Ryan Kwanten (Mystery Road, True Blood) and Deborah Mailman (The Sapphires). The film was produced by Arcadia’s Lisa Shaunessy (Killing Ground) and South Australia’s KOJO and was supported by the South Australian Film Corporation and the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund.

The long-awaited Chasing Wonders will also have its world premiere at the festival on 23 October. Written by Judy Morris (Happy Feet, Babe: Pig in the City) Chasing Wonders is a magical coming-of-age story about courage, adventure, fantasy and family set in the lush wine country landscapes of both South Australia and Spain, where the film was shot over a five-year period. 

South Australia’s Anna Vincent (I Am Mother), Stewart Le Marechal (Swimming With Men), Anna Mohr-Pietsch (Swimming With Men), Hilton Nathanson and Louise Nathanson serve as producers. John Persey (The Mercy) and Timothy White (I Am Mother, The Furnace) are executive producers.

The star-studded cast includes award-winning Spanish actor Paz Vega (Rambo: Last Blood, Sex and Lucia), Academy Award® nominee Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner, Miami Vice), Quim Gutierrez (Spy Time, The Last Days), iconic “Almodóvar girl” and multi award-winner Carmen Maura (Volver, The Women of the 6th Floor), Goya award-winner Antonio de la Torre (The Candidate, The Last Circus) and Australia’s Jessica Marais (Love Child, Packed to the Rafters). 

The 2020 Adelaide Festival program contains 22 World Premieres, 27 Australian Premieres and 10 Galas with films from more than 40 countries across 12 days from October 14 to 25. Find out more at adelaidefilmfestival.org