A documentary series based on a globally renowned New Zealand 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 groundbreaking findings that have emerged from the Otago University-led Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has followed the progress of more than 1000 people born in that city in 1972 and 1973.

For more than 40 years, the study has documented every aspect of the health, development and well-being of its members.


This has yielded about 1200 research articles, reports, books and book chapters, which have influenced thinking and policymaking in New Zealand and around the world.

Although established as a "public good research enterprise", it has generated $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 of last year in the US publication Science News: Magazine of the Society for Science & the Public.

Study director Professor Richie Poulton said he was 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 past four decades," he said.

"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 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."

The New Zealand On Air-funded series, which will start screening on TVNZ at the end of next month, has been acquired by 20 territories and could also be seen in 60 more countries.