WILD to INSPIRE Short Film Competition Finalists Announced

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Celebrating the power of film to inspire, Nat Geo WILD announced today, in partnership with the Sun Valley Film Festival and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), that three finalists have been chosen for the first annual WILD to INSPIRE Short Film Competition. Finalists include Always Endangered by Jim Laybourn; Bee Happy by David Thompson and Jacob Taylor; and Wolf Mountain by Dan Duran, Sam Price-Waldman and Brendan Nahmias.

Each of the finalists will attend the Third Annual Sun Valley Film Festival, where their films will be screened for festival attendees on Saturday, March 15, at 12 p.m. MST, ahead of the world premiere of Nat Geo WILD’s Kingdom of the Apes. The grand-prize winner will be announced later that night at the festival’s awards bash.

“We were inspired by the different ways each of these filmmakers captured the spirit of the theme and transported us to three unique ‘wild’ places,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager for Nat Geo WILD. “We look forward to sharing these films on the big screen with Sun Valley audiences.” 

One filmmaker from the winning film will receive a trip to AWF’s Maasai Steppe landscape in Tanzania, Africa, where he or she will receive a crash course in wildlife filmmaking through an apprenticeship with Emmy Award-winning National Geographic filmmaker Bob Poole. Poole has close ties to AWF: his father was an AWF field director and his sister, famed elephant researcher Joyce Poole, received AWF funding for her research early in her career.

During their 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 AWF — on behalf of Nat Geo WILD and AWF. Through regular updates, including blog posts, videos and photos, the winner will shine a light on African wildlife while giving Nat Geo WILD fans an inside look at 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.