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Dunedin Study TV documentary wins prestigious international award

Sun striking the Clocktower

Friday 22 April 2016 10:21am

dunedin study image
A still from the Predict my Future - The Science of Us trailer.

A television documentary on the University of Otago’s internationally lauded Dunedin Study has won a silver world medal in a prestigious international competition.

The four-part series Predict my Future - The Science of Us won the medal in the 2016 New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards.

The series by Mark McNeill of Razor Films explores the ground-breaking findings that have emerged from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has followed the life progress of more than 1000 people born in that city in 1972 and 1973.

Study Director Professor Richie Poulton says that he is thrilled to hear that Mr McNeill and his team have won the medal.

“They did a brilliant job bringing to life our research findings from the last four decades. I know our Study members will be over the moon, as this is really an acknowledgment of everything they have given, so generously, for so long.

“It’s world-class research brought to the screen by — I think I can say this now — a world-class production team at Razor films. They worked bloody hard, for a long time, to get it just right — they truly deserve it.”

For more than 40 years, the Study has documented every aspect of the health, development and well-being of its members. This has yielded some 1200 research articles, reports, books and book chapters, which have influenced thinking and policy-making both here and around the world, Professor Poulton says.

Although established as a “public good research enterprise”, it has generated NZD$18 million from overseas funding agencies.

Since its inception, Study findings have been used in a wide range of investigations, including child health, injury prevention, ageing, infertility, the genetic basis for antisocial behaviour, and links between drug abuse and adult psychosis.

More recently, the Study published work quantifying the pace of ageing among cohort members. It was described as the fourth most important scientific discovery in 2015 in the US publication Science News: Magazine of the Society for Science & the Public.

The New Zealand On Air-funded series, which will start screening on TVNZ at the end of May, has been acquired by 20 territories with the broadcast footprint involving around another 60 countries on top of that.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Richie Poulton, Director
Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Research Unit
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 8508

About the 2016 New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards:

The competition honours content in all lengths and forms and celebrates the exceptional and innovative programs being created on all continents. Dedicated to both the Television and Film industries, the Grand Jury members include over 200 directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, art directors, filmmakers, composers and programming executives who are award-winners themselves.

Watch the documentary trailer

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