Nat Geo WILD, The Sun Valley Film Festival and the African Wildlife Foundation Announce Judges and Mentor for WILD to INSPIRE Short Film Competition

Nov 25, 2013, 13:14 ET from Nat Geo WILD

USA TODAY and Mother Nature Network to Help Elect Winning Filmmaker

Acclaimed Filmmaker Bob Poole to Mentor Winner in Africa

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nat Geo WILD announced today, in partnership with The Sun Valley Film Festival and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), 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 WILD to INSPIRE Short Film Competition is currently accepting submissions through Jan. 31, 2014. 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 or by visiting the Vimeo contest page at

Nat Geo WILD will fly the top three finalists to the Third Annual Sun Valley Film Festival in March 2014, 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 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 Sun Valley Film Festival and AWF. 

The grand-prize winner will receive a trip to AWF's Maasai Steppe landscape in Tanzania, Africa, 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 National Geographic filmmaker Bob Poole.

"From 'War Elephants' to 'Great Migrations,' Bob's work embodies the spirit of this competition," said Daniels. "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 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, 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 Only U.S. residents are eligible to enter this contest.

About Nat Geo WILD

For more than 30 years, National Geographic has been the leader in wildlife programming. The networks Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo WILD HD, launched in 2010, offer intimate encounters with nature's ferocious fighters and gentle creatures of land, sea and air that draw upon the cutting-edge work of the many explorers, filmmakers and scientists of the National Geographic Society. Part of the National Geographic Channels US, based in Washington, D.C., the networks are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. In 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) debuted, and 10 years later, Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with Nat Geo WILD currently available in over 58 million U.S. homes. Globally, Nat Geo WILD is available in more than 144 million homes in 140 countries and 28 languages. For more information, visit

About the Sun Valley Film Festival

The Third Annual Sun Valley Film Festival, taking place March 13-16, 2014, features a curated slate of more than 50 cutting-edge films and TV premieres, engaging coffee talks with industry insiders like Hollywood legend Jodie Foster, fabulous parties and panels, a Screenwriters Lab led by award-winning writers Melisa Wallack and Craig Borten and a spectacular awards bash with musical guest The Weeks. This coming spring, filmmakers from around the world will bring their vision to the Sun Valley Film Festival, and movie lovers are invited to watch it come into focus. For festival details and tickets, visit Get festival updates on Facebook and Twitter.

About African Wildlife Foundation

Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a leading conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF's programs and conservation strategies are based on sound science and designed to protect both the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa's people. Since its inception, AWF has protected endangered species and land, promoted conservation enterprises that benefit local African communities, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation—all to ensure the survival of Africa's unparalleled wildlife heritage. AWF is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kenya and registered as a 501(c)(3) in the United States. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @AWF_Official and Facebook at