'First Day'.

Australia received strong representation at the Rose d’Or Awards on Wednesday, with First Day and Content among the winners at the virtual ceremony.

The series beat finalists from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands at the international entertainment broadcasting and programming awards, which attracted more than 760 entries.

First Day, produced by Epic Films, won the Children and Youth Award for its story about a transgender girl starting high school and finding the courage to live as her most authentic self.

Commissioned by the ABC, the series has since been sold to the BBC and Hulu.

Producer Kirsty Stark told IF the feedback she and director Julie Kalceff had received from the trans and LGBTQ communities had shown the story’s power to resonate with audiences.

“We are thrilled to have been recognised with a Rose d’Or Award,” she said.

“For us, the story comes from a very intimate place and we have worked hard to tell it in a personal way,” she said.

“We have had trans people come up and thank us for the way the community has been represented in the show, which has been amazing.”

Content, produced by Ludo Studio, won the Rose d’Or for best Social Media and Video Series, where it competed against fellow Australian show Cancelled, created by Luke Eve and partner Maria Albiñana.

‘Content’. (Photo credit: Mia Forrest)

The vertical series, also commissioned by the ABC, was the world’s first comedy show set entirely on a smartphone – telling the story of a millennial whose life changes when a car crash turns her into a global meme.

The produced by Meg O’Connell and written by Anna Barnes.

It stars Charlotte Nicdao as Lucy, an extrovert chasing Internet fame and Gemma Bird Matheson as her best friend Daisy.

The show’s executive producer an director Daley Pearson, who is also the co-founder and director of Ludo Studio, told IF the award was a vote of confidence for Australian creators looking to try new ways of storytelling.

“We didn’t know if a vertical video screen life series would be taken seriously by anyone, let alone one of the most prestigious award juries in the world,” he said.

“This award is also a great acknowledgment of the incredibly talented and creative team who made Content.  

“It’s also a real testament to ABC TV Australia, Screen Queensland and Screen Australia and their support for creators to road test innovative new Australian formats, genres and talent.

“Australia is really competing with the world here.”

Nominees for the 59th Rose d’Or Awards were chosen by over 80 international judges from across the television industry.

To view the full list of winners, click here.

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