Nat Geo Channel's 'Expedition Granted' Awards $50,000 to New Nature Film Series
After months of carefully reviewing projects and allowing the public to vote for their favorite, the National Geographic Channel has found the winner of its Expedition Granted contest, a nationwide search to find the next generation of great explorers. Charlie Engelman, a biologist and filmmaker based in Chicago, was announced yesterday as the winner, and he will receive a $50,000 grant toward his dream expedition, a cross-country journey to create an educational film series about America's forests.
"It's with great esteem that we grant Charlie Engelman's winning expedition, 'Get Pumped about Nature,'" said NGC CEO Courteney Monroe. "At National Geographic Channel, we believe in pushing boundaries and forging new paths, and were thrilled to receive such a wide and innovative variety of video entries. After three months of submissions, advisor input and community voting, we are honored to name the 2014 Expedition Granted Explorer."
Nat Geo launched Expedition Granted in June, accepting project proposals from virtually any field, including art, music, food, science, technology, and more. The program's goal was to democratize the concept of exploration to show that in the 21st century, explorers can come from all backgrounds and disciplines and anyone with curiosity and passion can be an explorer. After receiving more than 700 entries, a group of Expedition Granted advisors, including Brain Games host Jason Silva, author Ainissa G. Ramirez, and journalist Thayer Walker, selected a group of ten finalists to compete for the $50,000 grand prize. The public was then allowed to vote for the top project, and they selected Engelman as the winner.
Engelman will partner with Black Hawk Paramoter and the Cornell Tree Climbing Institute to produce an online film series about the wonders of America's forests, and he hopes that his expedition will help young people all over the world "get excited" about nature.
"This is absolutely amazing," said Engelman. "The support I received from my family, friends, neighbors, classmates and professors was just incredible. Thanks to the voters and National Geographic, I can now produce the nature series of my dreams."
To learn more about Engelman's project, follow him on Twitter and Tumblr, and visit ExpeditionGranted.com. Expedition Granted was developed in partnership with the National Geographic Society, 21st Century Fox, and sponsors the Jeep brand and Dos Equis.