What is it about?

This article presents a case study of the Australian children’s television programme, First Day (ABC Australia 2020–), which depicts a young transgender girl’s journey as she starts high school. The article focuses on Julie Kalceff's screenwriting process creating inclusive and diverse children’s television and her screenwriting process writing for and about children who occupy liminal and marginal spaces. She discusses the research, writing and consultation processes undertaken to create her pioneering work with trans characters as lead protagonists. The First Day series explores the universal experience of starting the high-school journey, while celebrating gender diversity on-screen.

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Why is it important?

By foregrounding historically marginalized characters, screenwriters can explore universal social, psychological and physical trials, and in the process, break down stigmas, such as those surrounding LGBTQ people.

Perspectives

Speaking with, and publishing about screenwriters is an important part of the screenwriter/academic's role. I wanted to highlight the approach that Julie Kalceff takes in her work as I believe it to be instrumental in improving the representation of LGBTIQA+ people on screen, and one that I think both practitioners and academics alike could learn from.

Natalie Krikowa
University of Technology Sydney

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This page is a summary of: Writing inclusive and diverse children’s television: Transgender representation in ABC Australia’s First Day, Journal of Screenwriting, September 2021, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/josc_00070_1.
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