Category A02. AR
Entrant RT Moscow, RUSSIA
Idea Creation RT Moscow, RUSSIA
Media Placement RT Moscow, RUSSIA
Production RT Moscow, RUSSIA
Name Company Position
Kirill Karnovich-Valua RT Creative Director
Gleb Burashov RT Strategist
Revaz Todua RT Designer
Ania Fedorova RT Producer
Elena Medvedeva RT Producer
Eldar Salamov RT Producer
Ivan Fursov RT Editor
Lilly Kazakova RT PR
Ivor Crotty RT Producer
Margo Tskhovrebova RT Administrative Manager
Denis Semionov N/A Digital Artist
Valeria Fimina N/A Manager
Alexandr Malyutin N/A Programmer
Pavel Postnikov N/A UI Designer
Ivan Yunitsky N/A Tester
Yana Saikovskaya N/A Tester
Helen Rappaport N/A Author, Historian
Marina Amaral N/A Digital Colorist
Peter Nalitch N/A Composer
Aleksandr Skryabin RT Director
Ilya Grachev RT Cameraman
Victoria Milovanova RT Producer
Boris Gorlov RT Creative Producer


The Romanovs were photography pioneers — in the early 20th century they owned the world's first portable cameras capturing almost every meaningful event in their lives. On July 17, 1918, Nicholas Romanov, last Tsar of the Russian Empire, his wife and five children were executed by the Bolsheviks. To pay tribute to the family, we merged a large set of visual data with transmedia storytelling to piece out the big picture of a "lost Russia". Thousands of the Romanov’s images were converted into platform-specific social media narratives on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram with accounts on each network showcasing unique format and content. Objectives: - create an immersive educational project that can resonate with “new generations” fully-adapted to social media - transforming content to an interactive AR book which makes learning experiences an emotional journey into history - introduce new approaches which can be effectively used in history education courses

Describe the creative idea

Showcasing private photographs of Nicholas II and his family in a printed photo album would deliver only a conventional message. If we want to appeal to wider audiences, we need to make them active co-creators of the unfolding story. An AR app installed on individual mobile device would help resolve this task. It will break limitations implied by print and enrich storytelling by bringing in elements usually not associated with books: videos, “then/now” contrast panels, voice-overs and other movie-like effects. While Stage 1 of the #Romanovs100 project appealed to younger audiences online (a majority of the 55,000+ fans & followers were aged 18-24), the book targets self-learners, students and educators. The main purpose of the AR app is to bridge the gap between personal enthusiasm and difficult historical material thus inspiring a further quest for knowledge.

Describe the strategy

The AR photo album we created is a culmination of the many-staged storytelling project. It is driven by and based on analysis of thousands of photos taken by Russia’s last royal family during the early 20th century. To bring history to life, we partnered with the Russian State Archive to retrieve over 4,000 photographs once stored in the private family albums. Identifying and contextualizing the images began several months before the project was launched and continued throughout live phase. Through collaboration with researchers, historians and creators we managed to link visual data to historical facts and come up with narratives and special elements suitable both for print and AR. Our work to digitize and analyze this trove of family photographs portrayed the Romanovs from a new, deeply human perspective, resulting in an innovative image-first educational narrative enhanced by extended reality.

Describe the execution

Our purpose was to create something personal and concurrent, connecting two totally different eras through content and creativity. Having experienced the pioneering age of private photography, the Romanov family left behind thousands of private photographs, in itself a rich storytelling seam. The purpose of AR is to extend the storytelling through limitations implied by print, and to allow readers become active co-creators of the unfolding story. The app provides an immersive journey into history triggering three interaction types: - informative: uses extended reality to tell additional stories through swipeable galleries, AR infographic, short video documentaries rolling inside photos - visual: AR app allows zoom-in on high-resolution images to experience them from different angles - emotional: 3D animations which come to life on the book pages offering a fresh emotional connection to to the Romanov family. It creates a learning experience through artistic and playful adventure.

List the results

Our project aims to show that learning history can be compelling and interactive. It targets younger audiences with innovative formats and digital approaches in educational storytelling. #Romanovs100 has been selected to showcase at one of the world’s biggest educational festivals - SXSW EDU 2019 in Austin, Texas where we exclusively presented the AR book. The response from educators and students was overwhelming as we handed over dozens of copies to public libraries, to universities of Texas, Phoenix, New York, Cornell and many other educational institutions who showed high interest. In general, #Romanovs100 had a remarkable impact across social media. The project generated over 25 million impressions & gathered around 55,000 fans & followers combined. Social media posts generated over 1 million engagements. The project received global media coverage, featuring in The History Extra magazine, BBC News Hour, Tatler, Sky News, Daily Mail, and more.