Nat Geo WILD, The Sun Valley Film Festival and The African Wildlife Foundation Announce Second Annual ‘Wild to Inspire’ Short Film Competition

(Washington, D.C. — November 3, 2014)  Nat Geo WILD, in partnership with the Sun Valley Film Festival and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), announced today the second annual WILD TO INSPIRE filmmaking competition. The competition will give one lucky winner their shot at a Nat Geo WILD dream job — the opportunity to travel to Africa and document wildlife for Nat Geo WILD viewers. The winner will share their wildlife adventure through a variety of media, including video diaries, photos, social media and more, as part of an online companion to Nat Geo WILD’s signature Sunday night nature series, Destination Wild.

The WILD TO INSPIRE film competition will accept submissions on Vimeo from November 3, 2014, through January 16, 2015. Last year, more than 300 submissions were entered, covering a wide array of wildlife topics, including grizzly bear conservation, the life of a beekeeper and even a skunk rescue operation.

This year, participants are asked to submit a short film showcasing their own version of Nat Geo WILD’s popular Sunday night programming strand, Destination Wild. Full of awe-inspiring scenery and wildlife, Destination Wild specials feature the best, most innovative wildlife storytelling from some of the greatest filmmakers in the world. Submissions should feature wildlife stories and moments from the entrants’ own lives, whether on their travels or in their own backyards. The ultimate  goal is to turn footage into something that will captivate viewers and inspire them to let the wild in every day.

Films should be no more than five minutes long and will be judged on the following criteria:
·       Connection to the theme of Destination Wild;
·       Quality of the storyline and script;
·       Creativity and/or content originality;
·       Production quality; and
·       Editing.

The top three finalists will be announced by February 1, 2015, and invited to the Sun Valley Film Festival in March 2015 to screen their film for festival attendees, a panel of judges and Nat Geo WILD executives. The winner will be announced at the festival’s closing ceremony, and will receive a National Geographic expedition to experience and document the wilderness of Africa, which is home to many of the world’s most iconic species — as well as some of its most threatened. Capturing the continent’s extraordinary wildlife and wild lands through the camera lens keeps viewers around the world inspired by and connected to their natural world — a first step in motivating them to help protect it.

“We were blown away by the submissions we received in year one,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo WILD. “It’s clear that our viewers are just as passionate about documenting the wild world around them as we are and we can’t wait to be transported through their work.”

At last year’s contest, filmmakers Dan Duran, Sam Price-Waldman and Brendan Nahmias won for their short film, WOLF MOUNTAIN, with Duran selected to undertake the African expedition to AWF’s Maasai Steppe landscape in northern Tanzania this November. There, he will apprentice under wildlife filmmaker and Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Bob Poole. Duran will use his camera lens to document Tanzania’s dynamic Manyara–Tarangire ecosystem, which includes Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks and the AWF-managed Manyara Ranch Conservancy. Through regular updates, blog posts, videos and photos, Duran will spotlight Africa’s wild side and some of AWF’s conservation efforts in this landscape for Nat Geo WILD viewers at

“We are thrilled to be a part of this partnership, as it brings very talented filmmakers to landscapes we work to capture wildlife we work every day to protect,” said Craig Sholley, vice president of philanthropy and marketing for African Wildlife Foundation. “Africa is changing rapidly. We need these talents to capture and convey to viewers around the world how precious and fragile our natural world is and how important it is to keep protecting it.”

For more information and complete rules, visit Only U.S. residents are eligible to enter this contest.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.