Nat Geo “WILD” announced in partnership with the Sun Valley Film Festival and the African Wildlife Foundation, that USA Today and Mother Nature Network have joined the panel of judges for the first annual Wild To Inspire Short Film Competition, which will give independent documentarians the chance to win a wildlife filmmaking apprenticeship in Africa with acclaimed National Geographic filmmaker Bob Poole.
The competition is accepting submissions through Jan. 31. To capture the “Wild To Inspire” theme, each film should focus on nature, with the goal of inspiring people to let the wild into their lives every day through content that is awe-inspiring, real, unexpected and fearless. Filmmakers can enter the competition and get official contest rules either by going to Without a Box at www.withoutabox.com or by visiting the Vimeo contest page at www.vimeo.com/groups/wildtoinspire.
Nat Geo WILD will fly the top three finalists to the third annual Sun Valley Film Festival in March, where their short films will be screened for festival attendees and a panel of judges, including USA Today and environmental news site Mother Nature Network. Other judges will include Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager for Nat Geo WILD; Casey Anderson, wildlife expert; Bob Poole, National Geographic filmmaker; and representatives from the Sun Valley Film Festival and the African Wildlife Foundation.
The grand-prize winner will receive a trip to the African Wildlife Foundation’s Maasai Steppe landscape in Tanzania, home to a host of wildlife, including elephants, wild dogs and lions. There, he or she will receive a crash course in wildlife filmmaking through an apprenticeship with Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Poole.
“From ‘War Elephants’ to ‘Great Migrations,’ Bob’s work embodies the spirit of this competition,” said Daniels in a release from the festival. “He’s a force in the natural-history filmmaking community, and the opportunity to learn from him on location is truly a unique one-on-one experience that only Nat Geo WILD could provide.”
During his or her stay, the winner will act as documentarian of record for Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Manyara Ranch—a wildlife corridor between the two parks supported by the African Wildlife Foundation—on behalf of Nat Geo WILD and the foundation. Through regular updates, including blog posts, video and photos, the winner will shine a light on African wildlife with a focus on big-cat research and conservation efforts. Additionally, the winner will give Nat Geo WILD fans an inside look at what goes on behind the camera and show what it really takes to be a wildlife filmmaker.
As an extension of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, the Wild To Inspire Short Film Competition also provides a real-world, hands-on opportunity for filmmakers to “cause an uproar” with Nat Geo WILD in support of the ongoing effort to halt the decline of big cats worldwide.
For more information and complete rules, visit www.natgeowild.com/wildtoinspire. Only U.S. residents are eligible to enter.