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‘Our African Roots’, ‘Unheard’, ‘First Day’ nominated for MIPCOM Diversify TV Awards

'Our African Roots'.

Three Australian projects have been nominated for next month’s MIPCOM Diversify TV Awards: Chemical Media’s Our African Roots, LADBible Australia’s Unheard and Epic Films/KOJO Studios’ First Day.

The MIPCOM Diversify TV Awards, to be held October 19 in Cannes, aim to bring attention to programs of diverse and inclusive background, spotlight authentic new and established voices and recognise positive programming.

Our African Roots and Unheard make up two-thirds of the nominees in the race and representation – unscripted category, competing against UK YouTube Original, Race Around Britain.

Originally commissioned by SBS as part of its Australia Uncovered strand, documentary Our African Roots is hosted by journalist and filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe and explores Australia‚Äôs lost African history. It tells stories of how Australians of African descent have helped shape the country’s history for more than 200 year. Chingaipe produced the project with director Tony Jackson.

‘Unheard’.

Created by writer and producer/EP Shahn Devendran, Unheard screens on Amazon Prime Video, with its six standalone episodes addressing racial discrimination in Australia, including Indigenous deaths in custody, the targeting of Indigenous youth, attacks towards Asians during COVID, Islamophobia, the vilification of the African community, and the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. Writers and directors include Luke Cornish, Ellen Dede-Vallas, Daniel Mansour, Jack Steele, Olivia Suleimon and Cathy Vu. Cornish, Dede-Vallas, Mansour and Steele also produce with Devendran.

The second season of ABC’s First Day will compete in the representation of diversity in kids programming category – older children against two UK programs, BBC’s Jamie Johnson (Season 6, episode 8, The Right Thing) and YouTube Original Onyx Family Dinner.

The standalone short that inspired the First Day series previously won MIPCOM’s inaugural award in the category back in 2018.

Elena Liu and Evie Macdonald as Olivia and Hannah in ‘First Day’ S2.

The second season of First Day follows transgender girl Hannah (Evie Macdonald) in her second year at Hillview High, where her running for class captain exposes an underlying level of transphobia among her classmates. She starts a group for LGBTQIA+ students but risks alienating her closest friends in the process.

The Adelaide-shot series is created, written and directed by Julie Kalceff, and produced by Kirsty Stark and Kate Butler, with Hulu a co-commissioner with the ABC for the second season. Co-writers include Eloise Brooke and Martine Delaney. The first season of First Day was highly decorated, including winning an International Emmy and a Rose d’or.

Australian-UK company See-Saw Films is also nominated in the representation of LGBTIA+ – scripted category for Netflix’s Heartstopper, filmed in the UK, up against CBC/HBO Max’s Sort Of and French project from TF1, (S)he.

See all nominees here.