Natural History Museum's interactive film wins award

29 March 2011

The Natural History Museum's interactive film Who do you think you really are? has won the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) for Learning on Screen Premier Award (multimedia). 

Learning on Screen Premier Award logo

The Learning on Screen Awards celebrate and reward excellence in the use of moving image and related media in learning, teaching and research.

The interactive film, guided by Sir David Attenborough, was praised for its cutting–edge innovative and engaging approach to the subject, and for pushing the boundaries of interactivity. 

Using augmented reality - the blending of computer graphics into real life - Who do you think you really are? takes visitors on a virtual journey back through their evolutionary past. 

Extinct creatures Coelophysis and Homo erectus and an intricate tree of life appear to move around you as you sit in the Museum's Attenborough Studio.

The Museum's Head of Interactive Media Ailsa Barry comments, 'We were delighted to receive the Premier Award from the BUFVC'. 

'The interactive film, with its unique combination of film and new media, builds on a great tradition at the Museum of communicating scientific ideas and theories through truly participatory and engaging experiences. It was made possible through drawing on expertise from across the Museum and industry.'


The interactive film uses a mix of CGI models developed with support of the Wellcome Trust, BBC natural history footage and interviews with leading Natural History Museum scientists to explore how we have gradually evolved from the earliest life form. 

Thanks to an innovative partnership with BBC Research and Development, this is the first time augmented reality is being used in a high profile public space in this way.

Mark Jacobs, BBC Producer who joined the museum team to make the film says, ‘The museum really pushed the boundaries on this project, and as programme makers, we too were able to explore new ways of taking science and educational content to the audience – the award is a credit to all involved.’


During the film, scientists give visitors virtual gifts that they can collect at home when they sign in to

In NaturePlus, there’s extra content such as a 3D Lucy, the ancient human species Australopithecus afarensis, and other augmented reality clips, and forums that discuss Who do you think you really are?

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Further information

  • Find out more and watch the video about the interactive film Who do you think you really are?

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