ROAM Announces Top Photos, Videos, and Written Essays Celebrating Outdoor Adventure During First Annual Awards Ceremony at Historic Boulder Theater

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World Premiere of Travis Rice Film, Dark Matter Caps an Evening Celebrating Creative Artists Sharing Awesome Adventures

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We were completely blown away by the immense creativity that was submitted for this year’s ROAM Awards.” Christopher Jerard, Founder & CEO at ROAM Media, Inc.

ROAM, the global community dedicated to inspiring curiosity and purpose through adventure storytelling, hosted its first annual ROAM Awards during a star-studded event at the historic Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado on Thursday evening. The ceremony was streamed live around the world. More than 2,900 images from 50 countries were submitted to the awards and then reviewed by a panel of internationally renowned photographers, filmmakers, and adventurists including Jimmy Chin, Andy Mann, Chase Jarvis, Geoffrey Gray and Sasha DiGuilian, to name a few. Following exhaustive discussions and debates, 60 entries emerged as the very best in photography, short film, and written essay.

The ROAM Awards was created as a way to discover, celebrate, and amplify emerging and established storytellers and provide an international platform for creators to submit their best photographs, videos, and written essays. $3,000 in cash plus thousands more in prizes including, professional workshops, massive exposure to industry professionals and the ROAM social feeds of millions, will be awarded to each of 15 top winners in each of the 5 categories.

Hosted by world class snowboarder, filmmaker, and ROAM founding member, Travis Rice, the awards ceremony was a celebration of outdoor adventure as seen through the lenses and minds of creatives from around the world. The capacity crowd of 850, which included some of the most renowned names in outdoor adventure, witnessed the world premiere of Travis Rice’s new film, Dark Matter. Of course, the stars of the evening were the incredible photographs, short films, and remarkable essays that were crowned as ROAM Award recipients.

“We were completely blown away by the immense creativity that was submitted for this year’s ROAM Awards,” explains Christopher Jerard, Founder & CEO at ROAM Media, Inc. “The reaction we received from the judges in each category, along with extensive debates to determine our winners, is a testament to the level of creative thinking and technical excellence occurring all over the world. We are excited and honored for ROAM to become a platform for the next generation of storytellers,” Jerard added.

Photographs, short films (up to 90 seconds each), and written essays were submitted to one of five creative categories including Purpose, Discovery, Awe, Thrill, and Lessons, and reviewed by independent panels of judges for each type of entry. In the end, the judges spent hours poring over thousands of entries to ultimately reach 45 finalists and 15 category winners, in total. And the winners are:

Lessons: Craig Muderlak, Enok (U.S.)
Purpose: Cliff Kapono, Earth Islander (U.S.)
Thrill: Gilad Avnat, The Sound of Skateboarding (Israel)
Discovery: Hakon Maeland, Discover Your Backyard (Norway)
Awe: Matthew Farman, (England)

Jimmy Chin, Climber, Photographer, and Film Director*
Travis Rice, Professional Snowboarder and Filmmaker*
Dale Djerassi, Documentary Film Producer and Director
Mimi Chakarova, Documentary Filmmaker and Photographer
Ron Dawson, Filmmaker & Host of Radio Film School

“Adventure and human connection has never been more important so getting to share what you love through your art and celebrate so many likeminded creatives and their art too, is just incredible,” said Matt Farman who traveled from the U.K. to accept his award and meet the team at ROAM.

“I am honored to have my video be recognized by such a talented, creative community,” said Craig Muderlak whose film, Enok, took two years to produce and relied on dozens of volunteers, many of whom were strangers. “The ability for the climbing community to set aside their own goals to help somebody else achieve their lifelong dream is something that isn’t typically showcased in climbing media,” Muderlak added.

“We were so impressed with the level of quality and creative thinking from this year’s video entries,” explained Jimmy Chin, Academy Award winning filmmaker (Free Solo) and one of this year’s judges for video entries. “As a winner in this year’s competition, along with having ROAM as an international platform to showcase their projects, this presents an enormous opportunity. Our hope was to discover the next generation of talent through these awards and I believe we achieved our goal,” added Chin.

Awe: Max Owens, On Desert Time (U.S.)
Discovery: Jeffrey (JT) Holmes, A High-Speed, Multi-Sport, First at the Eiger (U.S.)
Lessons: Noah Kaplan, Gravity (U.S.)
Purpose: Erynne Gilpin, Red Earth / Red Body (Canada)
Thrill: Ari Schneider, Climbing Alone: Self-Reliance, Making Calls, and Bailing Solo (U.S.)

Geoffrey Gray, Founder of True.Ink, Author
Sasha DiGiulian, Professional Rock Climber and Writer*
Kerry Tremain, Writer & former Managing Editor of Mother Jones magazine
Annette McGivney, Author, Journalist, Editor of Backpacker magazine
Maria Coffey, Award-winning Author, Adventure Guide, Conservationist

“So many of these essays had me on the edge of my seat as the talented writers took me deep onto the jungle, to the top of a mountain or battling a life-threatening medical diagnosis – all capturing the spirit of why we venture into wild places,” explained Essay judge Annette McGivney, Backpacker magazine Southwest Editor and author of the award-winning book, Pure Land. “I am grateful to ROAM for holding this contest to support new talent and honor the important role of creativity in the world of outdoor adventure,” she added.

“I am psyched that my writing has been recognized by the ROAM awards,” explains Jeffrey (JT) Holmes, who received top honors in the Discovery category for his essay, “…First at the Eiger. “Writing is often overlooked in this new age of digital media and it is always a challenge to briefly and clearly illustrate an idea with words when your readers may not be familiar with the subject. I am really stoked that it was recognized by an incredible panel of judges,” he added.

Lessons: Roie Galitz, Polar Bear Learning Wildlife Photography (Israel)
Purpose: Steve Shannon, Alpine Texture (Canada)
Thrill: George Bruce Wilson, Everything is Karate (U.S.)
Discovery: Chin Leong Teo, Fishing Nets in the Wind (Japan)
Awe: Jesse Levine, Splitboarding in Kyrgyzstan (U.S.)

Chris Rainier, Documentary Photographer and National Geographic Fellow
Rhonda Rubinstein, Creative Director & Founder of Big Picture, California Academy of Sciences
Andy Mann, Photographer & Filmmaker, Senior Fellow at Sea Legacy*
Chase Jarvis, Photographer, Entrepreneur & Author
Jody MacDonald, Photographer, Founder of Offshore Odysseys

“It was an absolute thrill and honor to help judge this year’s photography category of the ROAM Awards,” explained Chris Rainier, National Geographic photographer who recently published his new book, Mask. “There were numerous breathtaking photographs submitted, which made it such a difficult task to select the winners. Seeing all of these remarkable photographs was a reminder of the beautiful and diverse planet live on. It was awesome to see what happens when the daunting power of nature intersects with man's ceaseless desire to experience the wonders of our earth!”

“I’m honored to have my photograph chosen as a winner in the ROAM Awards,” said Steve Shannon whose photograph titled “Alpine Texture” won best photograph in the Purpose category. “I’ve spent a decade working on my craft and to receive this kind of recognition is amazing.”

Established by a community of creators and explorers with an iconic history of sharing stories of human endurance, brilliant destinations, cultural curiosity, and athletic prowess, ROAM has reimagined its website to expand community interaction, share untold stories of adventures, and educate fellow Roamers through tips, tutorials and personal experiences. The website will continue to honor its mantra of “adventure with purpose,” as proclaimed by the Founding Members including aforementioned icons Jimmy Chin and Travis Rice, plus creative and athlete leaders Sasha DiGiulian, Jeremy Jones, Mike Horn, Ian Walsh, Chris Burkhard, Andy Mann, and Renan Ozturk, among other world-class adventurers. By reinventing adventure storytelling through real-time social media narratives of quality and purpose, sourced from around the world, and led by the credibility of the Founding Members, ROAM has quickly established itself as a focal point in all things adventurous for the next generation.

To view all photography and video finalists, and read all finalist essays, visit

*ROAM Founding Member

About ROAM Media, Inc.
ROAM chronicles the grandeur of outdoor adventure, the thrill of outdoor sports, and of how these expeditions — when carried out mindfully and with purpose — transform us and nourish our relationships with the earth, and each other. ROAM creates original episodic content, branded content, and provides a distribution network via social and website platforms to nearly 23M people worldwide.

EDITOR’S NOTE: High resolution image files, video files, and essays are available by contacting ROAM (Media Contact).

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Lou Desiderio
ROAM Media
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