'Ellie & Abbie'.

Ellie and Abbie star Zoe Terakes has made history ahead of this year’s AACTA Awards, becoming the first non-binary Australian actor in consideration for Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film.

Terakes enters the category for their role as Abbie, the love interest of Year 12 student and school captain Ellie (Sophie Hawkshaw) in Monica Zanetti’s romantic comedy. The film premiered at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in 2020 as the first Australian film in 27 years to open the festival and received a national theatrical release on November 19, 2020

In a group statement, AACTA said while there had been other non-binary entrants and nominees in the past, Terakes was the first non-binary actor to have engaged them in conversation and exercised their right to choose which award suited them.

The organisation also believes they are the first person to enter a gendered award for a role portraying a different gender character.

The Wentworth and Nine Perfect Strangers actor said it was not an easy decision.

“I’m not a woman, but I also don’t feel entirely like a man,” they said.

“I’m a boy human. A human boy. And so, until there is an awards system that accommodates for genderqueer/trans folks, we’re gonna have to make the system work for us.

“I’m an actor, not an actress. I definitely feel more aligned with “male” identifiers. And I don’t want to be nominated for the gender of the character I’m playing. Yes, ‘Abbie’ in the film is female. But Eddie Redmayne wasn’t nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars when he did the Danish girl.

“So, listen It’s all a bit confusing and feels a bit, to quote Missy Higgins, ‘triangle trying to squeeze through a circle’ but until we de-gender awards ceremonies altogether, I’ll be up for nomination in the category that most aligns with my gender; best male actor.”

Earlier this year, the Australian Recording Industry Association announced the removal of gender-based categories for this year’s awards, replacing Best Male Artist and Best Female Artist with an award for Best Artist.

The conversation is also being had internationally, with America’s Television Academy’s Board of Governors allowing nominees for the 2021 Emmy Awards to be recognised as a “performer” in place of actor or actress.

Voting for this year’s AACTA Awards closes on Monday, October 18. Find out more information here.

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