Nat Geo WILD and the Sun Valley Film Festival Announce Third Annual WILD TO INSPIRE Winner

"To the Explorers" Film Named Winner at Sun Valley Film Festival

Filmmakers Justin Grubb and Alex Goetz to Film in Africa for Nat Geo WILD

WASHINGTON--()--Nat Geo WILD, in partnership with the Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), announced the winner of the third annual WILD TO INSPIRE filmmaking competition. Justin Grubb and Alex Goetz of Toledo, Ohio, were named the winners during the Sun Valley Film Festival’s Awards Bash this past weekend. Grubb is a biologist for the Toledo Zoo (@ToledoZoo) and Goetz is a videographer for the zoo.

The short film by Grubb and Goetz was selected as winner from hundreds of online entries narrowed down to four finalists. The finalist films were screened by judges from Nat Geo WILD, SVFF and several members of the media. As winners, Grubb and Goetz will travel to Africa this fall to share their wildlife adventures and give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a Nat Geo WILD filmmaker. The duo will share their experiences through a variety of media streams, including video diaries, photos, social media and more.

The winning film can be viewed here: “To the Explorers” by Justin Grubb and Alex Goetz. Grubb and Goetz consider the film to be an ode to all the adventurers, explorers and conservationists who dedicate everything they have to conservation, wildlife and the outdoors. The two filmmakers focus on telling the stories of conservation and wildlife around the world, in an effort to raise awareness of the issues that affect our planet.

“It was incredible meeting the other contestants and learning about what inspires them to love the natural world. The group had such energetic and dynamic enthusiasm about filmmaking, storytelling, natural history and conservation. It was great seeing such passion among emerging artists and it gives me overwhelming hope for the future of nature storytelling,” said Grubb.

“To imagine creating content with an institution that’s been around for 125 years, producing some of the most innovative work, is just incredible. I can’t wait to take this opportunity to try and inspire others around the world and make a positive impact on wildlife and conservation,” said Goetz.

Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager for Nat Geo WILD said, “The WILD TO INSPIRE competition, hosted by our friends at Sun Valley Film Festival, has grown to be a beloved and coveted tradition for filmmakers and those who share a passion for all things wild.”

Starting Oct. 19, 2015, participants were asked to submit a short film that captured stories of individuals letting the wild into their own lives. Films were judged on the connection to the theme of “Let the WILD In,” quality of the storyline and script, creativity and/or content originality, production quality and editing.

Other finalists in the competition included “Conowingo Dam Bald Eagles” by Mike Lemery, “In Search of a Moment” by David Fontneau and “Wild Heroes of Uganda” by Marlina Moreno. For more information, including contest rules, visit

About National Geographic Channels

The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit and

About the 2016 Sun Valley Film Festival

The Fifth Annual Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), presented by Zions Bank, was held March 2-6, 2016, and featured a curated slate of more than 60 cutting-edge films and TV premieres, engaging Coffee Talks with top industry insiders including legendary filmmaker Oliver Stone (recipient of the 2016 SVFF Lifetime Vision Award), fabulous parties and panels, a Screenwriters Lab led by award-winning writers Mark Duplass and Nat Faxon and the spectacular SVFF Awards Bash. The combination of cutting-edge programming and bona fide insider access in a fun, relaxed atmosphere is making the Sun Valley Film Festival a rising star in the world of destination festivals.


Nat Geo WILD
Julie Langlie, 410-353-4587

Release Summary

Justin Grubb and Alex Goetz of Toledo, Ohio, were named the winners of Nat Geo WILD and Sun Valley Film Festival's WILD TO INSPIRE filmmaking competition for their video, "To the Explorers."


Nat Geo WILD
Julie Langlie, 410-353-4587