The Best Storytelling prize was awarded in recognition of authentic, meaningful content that inspires sharing among audiences, while the Best Multiplatform Campaign honoured the most creative campaign spanning multiple digital and social platforms. The Dyatlov project was also nominated for Best Integrated Campaign.

Dyatlov Group’s Journal transports users back to 1 February 1959, when the bodies of nine hikers were discovered In the Ural Mountains with gruesome yet puzzling injuries, inviting users to explore the mystery of what happened, and piece together their interpretation of events, via an immersive digital world.

Through the medium of new and existing footage, long-forgotten archival materials and first-hand accounts from experts and locals—spread across Instagram, Telegram and an interactive website—Ruptly’s project lays down a new trail for filmmakers, storytellers and enthusiasts to unpick one of the greatest mysteries of the Soviet era.

In the first month following its launch, Dyatlov Group’s Journal attracted nearly 100k unique visitors to its webpage and 10k followers on Instagram, reaching over 4.6 million people. And with countries the world over now in lockdown, the labyrinthine world Ruptly created takes on new significance – providing much-needed escape and distraction for intrepid explorers hoping to crack the puzzle.

Dinara Toktosunova, CEO of Ruptly, commented: “These awards are a perfect illustration of the breadth and calibre of what Ruptly can achieve. We wanted to reach beyond our traditional broadcast sector to engage a younger audience of writers, journalists and independent creators. Despite the strange current circumstances, with production on pause and people stuck in their homes, this project can inspire creativity, curiosity and new content with its limitless reimaginings.”

Vadim Maximov, Creative Director at Ruptly, said: “For Dyatlov, we married traditional news and documentary media with modern delivery to breathe life into an old legend. Using our signature innovation and outside-the-box thinking, we did what we do best: tell a story.”

The winning entry can be explored in full at its dedicated website and all footage from the Dyatlov project is available for purchase at ruptly.tv, or by writing to [email protected]uptly.tv. The awards ceremony will be livestreamed on 3 May at 7pm EST via Twitter, YouTube and the Shorty Awards website.