Your dream of seeking out new species, remote corners of the earth, and breathtaking wonders of the world could become a reality if you enter the Nat Geo “Wild to Inspire” competition by February 26, 2018! For its fifth year running, Nat Geo WILD is seeking submissions from filmmakers about the wonders all around us. This year, the contest is specifically asking for short documentaries (three minutes or less) about animal lovers in your community.

From Nat Geo WILD:

At Nat Geo WILD, we’re animal people. Dog people. Cat people. Even sloth people. Straight-up animal lovers, each and every one of us. Which is why for the fifth annual Wild to Inspire Short Film Contest, we’re asking you to turn the camera on the animal people in your community. The local vet. Dog walker. Farmer. Cat lady. Beekeeper. Nature trail guide. Zookeeper. Environmental advocate. And, of course — your animal-obsessed friends and family. The ultimate goal is to provide an intimate portrait of an individual and the role of animals in his or her life.

Here’s what’s at stake in this competition. Submit your doc and if you are one of three finalists chosen in March, you will get cash prizes and an invitation to attend the Sun Valley Film Festival (Sun Valley, Idaho, March 14-18) to screen your film. From that screening, a panel of judges will pick the grand prize winner, who will then go on an-expenses paid National Geographic expedition. Who knows, the expedition may even lead to you becoming a permanent fixture at NatGeo. That’s how it worked for last year’s winner, Filipe DeAndrade, who is now hosting his own Nat Geo Wild series, Untamed.

Here is his NatGeo winning video from last year's contest:

According to Submittable, your documentary will be judged by these categories:

  • Connection to the theme of featuring a true “animal lover”
  • Quality of storyline and script
  • Creativity and/or content originality
  • Production quality (e.g., lighting, shot composition, focus, sounds)
  • Editing

Prizes for 2018 include:

  • 1st Place:  $1,000 cash + All expense paid Nat Geo expedition
  • 2nd Place:  $500 cash
  • 3rd Place:  $500 cash

Deadline: February 26, 2018

For more information or to submit, go to the NatGeo Wild to Inspire page on Submittable.

There are a few weeks left to get a short documentary together, so if this sounds like something you’d like to enter, best of luck!

Header image courtesy NatGeo WILD contest "Wild to Inspire."