Audience engagement

Nat Geo WILD uses the power of storytelling to inspire a love of wildlife and nature in its audiences, and through a new short film contest, the network is giving young filmmakers across the U.S. the chance to do the same.

The 4th annual WILD TO INSPIRE competition asks contestants to create one-minute videos that share personal wildlife stories, from travels around the globe to the habitats and ecosystems thriving in their own backyards. Enter the contest by uploading these videos to Instagram with the hashtag #WildToInspireContest until submissions close on February 15.

“It’s only through the incredible storytellers behind the camera that we’re able to take our viewers inside some pretty wild places,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo WILD. “Being able to support and provide a platform for the next generation of filmmakers who have the same passion for nature and wildlife as we do is extremely rewarding.”

On February 27, the network will announce three finalists who will screen their films at the Sun Valley Film Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho, in March, as well as win a cash prize. One Grand Prize Winner will then embark on an all-expenses-paid expedition to Africa, where he or she will document the trip through photos, videos and blog posts on the Nat Geo WILD site. The contest is open to all U.S. residents.

“WILD TO INSPIRE is just one of the many ways in which the Sun Valley Film Festival showcases emerging filmmakers,” added Teddy Grennan, executive director of the festival. “We look forward to seeing how this year’s submissions will take on the challenge of the one-minute film.”

Learn more about WILD TO INSPIRE, including how to enter, and check out the trailer below:


National Geographic announced its first ever Earth Week

At Climate Week NYC 2016, National Geographic announced its first ever Earth Week, a week of programming dedicated to climate change that will launch ahead of the U.S. presidential election this fall. Nat Geo also premiered the second season of climate change series "Years of Living Dangerously" and unveiled the trailer for Leonardo DiCaprio's critically acclaimed documentary "Before the Flood."

Here's a recap of what National Geographic announced and presented at Climate Week NYC 2016:

EARTH WEEK TO BEGIN OCT. 30

In front of more than 800 guests representing businesses, governments and environmental organizations from around the world who had gathered on Wednesday at the American Museum of Natural History for the world premiere screening of the new season of "Years of Living Dangerously," National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe announced Earth Week, an entire week of National Geographic Channel programming dedicated to the topic of climate change. Earth Week begins Sunday, Oct. 30, and will air in 171 countries and 45 languages.

The premiere of the second season of the Emmy Award-winning "Years of Living Dangerously" will air at 8 p.m. on the first night of Earth Week, followed by the commercial-free television premiere of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and environmental activist, U.N. Messenger of Peace and Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary "Before the Flood" at 9 p.m. (an encore will air at 10:30 p.m.).

"Now, the timing of our Earth Week programming event is no coincidence - it is intended to bring climate change to the forefront of the conversation ahead of the U.S. elections," Courteney said. "But for us, climate change transcends politics. It is beyond an American issue. It is a global, human issue that demands attention from leaders in the highest offices all across the world."

She added that National Geographic believes it's its duty to inform voters on these issues "and encourage people to vote in November like our lives depend on it - because when it comes to climate change, they actually do."

 

"YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY" PREMIERE

Earlier in the week, at the Opening Ceremony for Climate Week NYC 2016, National Geographic Channel President of Programming Tim Pastore unveiled a short teaser video for "Years of Living Dangerously" produced by filmmaker James Cameron.

"From executive producers James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the series this year once again features an A-list line up of celebrity correspondents as they explore a wide array of topics including carbon pricing, the California water crisis, the future of electric vehicles, species extinction, climate migrants, deforestation and super storms," Tim said.

 

"We are the first generation to experience the effects of climate change and the last generation in a position to do something about it," Courteney said at Wednesday's premiere. "Think about that for a moment. We hope, like us, you'll see this not as cause for despair but as an opportunity - a call to action - for all of us alive at this pivotal moment to take the bold steps necessary to create a flourishing future for generations to come. As a mother of two young children, nothing resonates with me more."

"The idea of this is: Let's communicate to people that we all have to work together - Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Decline to State - everybody should work together," said Years of Living Dangerously Executive Producer Arnold Schwarzenegger. "It's not conservative versus Democrat. There is no conservative air. There is no liberal air. We all breathe the same air."

Arnold was joined by many of the series' celebrity correspondents in attendance, including Gisele Bundchen, Bradley Whitford, America Ferrera, Joshua Jackson and Ian Somerhalder.

 

 

"BEFORE THE FLOOD" TRAILER During her remarks Wednesday evening, Courteney also debuted the trailer for "Before the Flood," which National Geographic Channel acquired in August.

"Before the Flood [presents] a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change," she said. "This incredibly engaging film follows Leo's personal journey as he travels to five continents, as well as the Arctic, speaking to scientists, world leaders and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue."

For the past decade, 21st Century Fox has been committed to reducing its environmental impacts, growing sustainably and inspiring others to take action. From leading the film and television industry in sustainable production practices, to investing tens of millions of dollars in renewable energy generation and carbon offsetting, 21CF is addressing the climate change impacts of its own operations. With the unrivaled reach, bold storytelling and scientific resources of National Geographic, the company will engage a global audience to take action as well. Courteney spoke to this opportunity, noting "[W]e believe in the power of storytelling to inspire people to change the world... Truly great storytelling can connect with audiences in really profound ways. This is especially true when it explores themes that transcend our differences - and reflect universal values - like the human connection to nature."

Learn more about National Geographic's announcements and see the Earth Week schedule, which begins Oct. 30.

The second season of "Years of Living Dangerously" will air on National Geographic Channel on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

"Before the Flood" will premiere in theaters on Friday, Oct. 21. The documentary will air globally on National Geographic Channel on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.


Three 21CF Series Nominated for GLAAD Media Awards

This week, the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD announced the nominees for the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. Three Fox series were among the nominees.

FOX Broadcasting's comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Glee, along with Twentieth Century Fox Television's Modern Family, received nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. All three series were nominated last year, and Glee and Modern Family have each won twice before.

"This year's nominees... reflect the widening diversity of LGBT images and storylines that are closing the gap to full acceptance," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be held on March 21 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and in New York on May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. For more information on GLAAD and a full list of nominees, visit GLAAD.org.


Humanitas Prize Recognizes Fox Projects for Powerful Social Messaging

 

For 40 years, the organization Humanitas has awarded its Humanitas Prize to film and television writers whose works demonstrate effective social messaging and powerful insights into human life. The winners of the 2014 Humanitas Prize were announced at a luncheon in Los Angeles on Friday, and three of the ten projects honored were Fox productions.

In the Feature Film category, John Ridley won for the screenplay to Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave, also the winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Picture. "This is very special to me, that an incredible community of writers would recognize my work and the work of Solomon Northup," Ridley said at the ceremony. "When people look at storytelling as a means to convey emotion, touch people, and try and change the world, that's kind of awesome."

Fox was also a winner in the television categories. Writers Alex Gansa and Meredith Stiehm won for "The Star" episode of Homeland, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, and Elaine Ko won for the "Under Pressure" episode of Modern Family, produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.

"We are so proud and honored to add this year's Humanitas Prize winners to the long list of writers whose work has both entertained and inspired us for the past four decades," said Humanitas executive director Cathleen Young. "It is a formidable group."

Over the course of the evening, Humanitas awarded more than $100,000 across 10 categories of writers whose works "entertain, engage, and enrich the viewing public." Six of the twenty film and television productions nominated in the content categories were produced and/or distributed by Fox, and previous Fox winners include Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ryan Murphy for Glee, David Shore for House, and Steve Levitan for Modern Family.

Father Ellwood Keiser founded the prize in 1974 as a means of recognizing the powerful effect that film and television can have on audiences. "By bringing into our living rooms human beings who are very different from ourselves in culture, race, lifestyle, political loyalties, and religious beliefs, we can dissolve the walls of ignorance and fear that separate us form one another," he said.

For a recap of the event, including the complete list of winners, visit the New York Observer.


STAR India's Campaign to Protect the River Ganga

 

In 2013, STAR India's popular channel Life OK launched Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav, an awareness campaign to preserve the ailing River Ganga, also known as the Ganges. The channel hosted live events in eight cities across the country, and its media campaign reached upwards of 100 million Indians. As a result, state and central governments announced new commitments to the health of the river, which supports the more than 400 million Indians who live along its basin.

In addition to being one of the most populated river basins in the world, the River Ganga is also one of the most polluted, with sewage runoff and industrial waste contaminating the water on a daily basis. The river bears religious significance in the Hindu community, and hundreds of millions of Indians depend on its water for their daily lives. The pollution disrupts religious life, and the water scarcity puts lives in danger. Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav is an effort to combat this pollution, and restore the health of this important natural resource.

The campaign consisted of three initiatives to engage viewers: the Samvaad School Contact Program provided children with creative activities that educate them on the issues facing the river; the Mohalla & Door to Door Contact Program engaged families directly; and the Ghat Contact Program enlisted the help of students to clean the steps leading down to the river. These initiatives were implemented in approximately 200 schools across seven cities.

Life OK also organized live events detailing the problems facing Ganga, such as the panel discussion in Haridwar consisting of Shri Vijay Bahuguna, Honourable Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shrimati Amrita Rawat, Environment & Tourism Minister, Uttarakhand, and Shri BD Tripathi, environmentalist & member of National Ganga River Basin Authority. Similar events were held in eight cities across the states of Urrarkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, and West Bengal between January and May 2013. Combined with the awareness campaign on television, in print, and online, STAR estimates that they were able to reach 100 million people with the message of conservation.

As a result of the Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav campaign, state and central governments introduced new policies on restricting sewage discharge and penalizing polluting industries. The governments also granted additional enforcement authority to the Pollution Control Board. Currently, the nonprofit Parmarth Seva Samiti and the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation are constructing multiple facilities along Ganga to incinerate industrial waste rather than dump it in the river.

Learn more about Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav.