Why Challenge Awards

Xpedition.TV take off

Challenge Awards, an origin story.

Somewhere on the road between Telluride and Los Angeles (which is to say the road between pure inspiration and the crude mechanics of pulling it off) I had a vision:

What if we found a way for today’s explorers to be rewarded? A way to showcase the bravery and innovation that keeps our world vital?

What if that “high” we feel on the open road, or high-speeding down some mountain, or crossing some ocean, or in the eyes of some magnificent, nearly-extinct being – what if THAT could be brought home and reignited for others?

Wouldn’t that inspire a little bigger vision of why we’re all here? A little less rigidity? A little less pursuit of the almighty dollar? Wouldn’t we all be just a little more forgiving, a little more curious? With bigger hearts or more willingness to just pitch in and help for the sake of… helping?

Ric Gibbs with climber & filmmaker Cory Richards in Telluride, May 2013.

Ric Gibbs with climber & filmmaker Cory Richards in Telluride, May 2013.

Xpedition.TV was born out of these questions. But at one year old, we take our first concrete steps towards an answer. Towards awarding a few people… for being explorers.

Today, with the help of one sponsor (Goal Zero, who took a chance) and a lot of help from the outdoor community – THREE filmmakers will receive some pretty awesome solar gear to help them shoot their next adventure films.

And SEVEN more adventure filmmakers will receive some much deserved commendation and an invitation to work on future projects.

Are these big prizes? Some might not think so. But they are honest and hard won. Both by the sweat of those filmmakers (and the other four dozen who participated). And by all who labored to assemble Xpedition.TV, from nothing into an entity that can make such awards. And bigger ones to come.

Xpedition.TV Short Film Winners, 2013.

Xpedition.TV Short Film Winners, 2013. Miguel Endara & Dave Cornthwaite, Giacomo Sardelli, and Steven Briand.

This small film competition is big vote of confidence that, yes, there is a community who wants to see this happen. Who wants to see opportunity take shape in the form of Challenge Awards. Who wants to recognize people for doing bold and amazing things. Let’s say yes to this. In fact, let’s say, hell yes!

These ten filmmakers are just a snapshot of the world we want to bring into focus. If Xpedition.TV stands for anything, it stands for the opportunity, the validation to be brave, to take risks. For putting a wider lens on the world. And showing everyone MORE of what is possible with the lives we’ve been given.

So hat’s off to these filmmakers. Thank you for answering our call. For showing off your heart and your courage. For being our first wave. With more to come.

(See FULL LIST of winners & their films…)

"Special Honors" for Benjamin Dowie, Tragedy&Hope, Nathan Oldfield, Bejamin Sadd, Johannes Bergfors, Gavin Heffernan and Hannah Maia Taylor.

“Special Honors” for Benjamin Dowie, Tragedy&Hope, Nathan Oldfield, Bejamin Sadd, Johannes Bergfors, Gavin Heffernan and Hannah Maia Taylor.