Ocean Geographic has announced the 13th Celebrate the Sea Festival in Manado, North Sulawesi from 31 March to 4 April 2018. Previously staged in association with the World Festival of Underwater Pictures, (Le Festival Mondial de l’Image Sous-Marine – Marseille) from 2002 to 2013, Celebrate the Sea was known as one of the most significant underwater photographic events in the world outside Europe. The 2018 festival in Manado will take place in conjunction with the 5th annual ‘Ocean Geographic Pictures of the Year’ competition.
The festival will open on 31 March 2018 with a full-day keynote conference by a panel of international speakers, together with an opening ceremony hosted by the provincial government of North Sulawesi. Past presenters at Celebrate the Sea include some of the world’s most prominent luminaries in underwater imaging and science, including: Stan Waterman, David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Ron & Valerie Taylor, Dr Sylvia Earle, Dr Phil Nyutten, Howard and Michele Hall, Peter Scoones, Dr Gerry Allen, Emory Kristof, Michael AW, Dr Carden Wallace, Dr Lindsay Porter, Howard Shaw, Neville Coleman, Leandro Blanco and Dr Mark Erdmann to name just a few. Without doubt, the luminaries for 2018 will be equally impressive.
The principal highlight of the 2018 festival is the international underwater shoot-out competition. With cash and holiday prize monies value at around USD 35,000 spread over five categories, it may be the most lucrative shoot-out competition in the world. The overall winner will be named ‘Master of the Competition’ with a cash bounty of IDR 66 million (about USD 5,000). Prizes are funded by the provincial government of Manado and supporting resorts of the North Sulawesi Watersports Association.
Competition participants can submit entries into the five categories taken on a maximum of 10 qualifying dives in their chosen supporting resort from 1-3 April. Cameras must be set to the correct Manado time and date before diving commences. Only material from up to 10 dives can be submitted to the competition. Participants can arrive earlier, or undertake more than 10 dives between 1-3 April, to be arranged directly with their chosen resort.
The mission of the 13th Celebrate the Sea Festival uses the power of pictures to inspire conservation and protection of the ocean environment. The 2018 festival will be used as a platform to call for the ban of shark fins in restaurants and to work towards eliminating single-use plastic in North Sulawesi. The provincial government supports these initiatives. The festival in Manado will celebrate the splendour and richness of the marine bio-diversity of Bunaken National Marine Park, Bangka Island and the Lembeh Strait, with the underlying objective being to spotlight threats from climate change and pollution.
Highlights of the festival weekend will also include the screening of finalists of the 5th ‘OG Pictures of the Year’ competition and a children’s art competition. The awards ceremony for Celebrate the Sea 2018 will be on 7 April in Singapore.
Find out more about the Celebrate the Sea Festival at www.celebratethesea.oneocean.com.