Competition jury

2022 - Guillaume Nery & Tobias Friedrich

2021 - Marie-Christine CACOT

Marie-Christine CACOT began scuba diving in 1981 in Brittany, during her during her studies as a pharmacist. Her first contact with underwater photography (film) in 1992. A passion for the infinitely small.

A federal instructor since 1994, she shares her passion for
diving and macro photography. She has extensive experience in the world of photography, with a large number of exhibitions in Underwater World in 1999, the magazine Voyage aquatique en Nouvelle-Calédonie in 2000, and her participation in the Festival de l'image sous-marine, in 1994 . Hiswork has won awards at festivals in Caledonia, Hyères and Strasbourg.

"The image is there to give pure emotion

2020 - Vincent Truchet

Born in 1980, he grew up in the Paris region, but was lulled to sleep by his
vacations in Brittany. As a child and teenager, Vincent dreamed of living in French Polynesia, but his dreams were far too precious to rush into realization. He preferred to discover the world through his work as a diving instructor. In 2009, he decided to leave everything behind and set off to discover his Eden: Tikehau.

In 2013, he met Mélo, who previously worked
in fashion photography. She became his alter ego. The first results follow quickly and his career takes a new turn towards professionalism.

Over the past five years, he has won 1st place at
Adex China No Limit, the Deep Indonesia competition and the Festisub de Neufchâtel, as well as the Gold Medal of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris, in 2018.

His images, taken in his salty world, exude emotion
true: he is in the moment and in contact with the animal. What the
depths of Polynesian waters graciously offer him, he wants to
share without counterfeit through his visuals...

His secret to getting the right shot:  

" The key word is patience, knowing how to wait, knowing the animals too. To take pleasure in our work but above all not to disturb the animals, to always have a soft approach and to be first in a position to observe, that it is the animals that come to us and not the opposite. Do not force the encounter since anyway, a photo from a forced encounter will be a bad image. »

2019 - Darren Jew

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Darren Jew has photographed landscapes and wildlife all over the world, from mountaintops to desert plains to under the ocean.

A certified diver since the age of 14 and having studied photography at the Queensland College of Art, his love for the ocean is naturally expressed through his underwater images.

A multi-award-winning photographer (6 times Australia's best Nature
Professional photographer), Darren is the author of three books, the most recent of which is Underwater Australia. His photos are regularly published and used by conservation organizations worldwide.

Darren is one of only twelve Australian photographers to be recognised as a 'Canon Master', which recognises a number of the world's best photographers. Darren was a judge for the United Nations World Oceans Day photo competition.

Photographing whales : 

" I'm always in awe of their power and
grace, and their acceptance of me when I'm in the water and what they offer as far as photoraphical opportunities. It vibrates through your body and you can feel the sound.
It' s probably one of the most poignant experiences you can have in the ocean. "

2018 - Gil Kébaïli

Gil Kébaïli is a writer-director of documentaries broadcast on
worldwide. He specializes in reporting on the Pacific region, islands in general and the underwater world in particular. He was director and operator on Laurent Ballesta's expeditions (Cœlacanthe, Le mystère mérou, Antartica, 700 requins dans la nuit, Planète Méditerranée). His films have won awards at numerous adventure, underwater and scientific documentary festivals. He was also the director of the Ushuaïa Nature programs with Nicolas Hulot for 25 years. A docu-drama director for ARTE (specializing in maps and the great explorers of the 16th and 18th centuries), editorial manager and artistic director at "Les gens bien
productions", a traveler to every continent and latitude, he defines himself as a specialist in human adventures in connection with nature.

2017 - Pascal Kobeh

In 1992, Pascal Kobeh left the world of finance to live in the Maldives as a guide on a diving boat. He started to take underwater photos in 1994.

Twice awarded at the International Festival of Underwater Pictures
d'Antibes in 1997 and 1998, winner in his category of the prestigious Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2010, Gold Award at the Festival de la Photo Animalière et de Nature de Montier in 2013, Bronze Medal at the Salon de la Marine 2014, he is the author of several books and numerous reports in the French and international press. He has also been exhibited many times at shows and events in France and abroad.

Called in by Jacques Perrin in 2005, he led the team of
photographers on his film "Océans", co-directed with Jacques Cluzaud. As principal photographer, he took part in numerous shoots and criss-crossed the world's seas.

His latest book, "Plonger dans les mers du monde, mes spots préférés" (Diving in the world's seas, my favourite spots) published by Éditions Glénat, presents a selection of 28 diving sites in the world's seas to admire the "big" as well as the very small, coloured reefs and wrecks...

It was the combined influence of a youth spent on the water's edge and the discovery of Commandant Cousteau's adventures that made André Ruoppolo a diver from 1966 onwards. He became a diving instructor in 1970, then a professional scuba diver, and went on to make a name for himself as an underwater photographer. He received several prestigious awards: Palme de bronze for underwater photography in 1982 at the Antibes Festival, vice-champion of France for underwater photography in 1990 and champion of
France in 1997, Palme d'or for reportage in 1997 at the Antibes Festival.
He also received several distinctions in international
competitions, including the Blue Dauphin Gold Medal in Malta, in Tabarka, Tunisia, and at the international championship in Bergeggi, Italy. 

His enthusiasm for underwater photography is contagious: his wife Martine Ruoppolo is a French champion as an underwater guide and model, and their son Guillaume Ruoppolo is following the same path as he has already won several awards in numerous festivals.  

His quote:

"It's never too late to become what we could have been. »

(George ELIOT)

2015 - Laurent Ballesta

He was exposed to underwater life from an early age in his native region
, near Montpellier, and became a diving instructor when he came of age.

Naturally, his university studies focused on benthic
ecology (the fauna and flora that live on the sea floor). At the age of 25, he completed his studies by discovering a new species of fish from the western Mediterranean, the Andromeda goby...

Underwater photographer, he is the youngest photographer to have received the Golden Diver award at the World Festival of Underwater Pictures. He is also the only one to have won it three times. He has published portfolios in the most important magazines of the French and foreign press. 

As a professional diver, he was a pioneer when, in 1999, he introduced
a brand-new piece of scuba diving equipment, the closed-circuit rebreather with electronic mixture management, which offers revolutionary prospects for diving deeper and longer. 

Co-creator of Andromède Océanologie in 2000, he has led several large-scale expeditions over the past 10 years. His "Gombessa" expeditions are based on three emblematic values: a scientific mystery, a diving challenge and the promise of unprecedented images. From the first photographs of the coelacanth taken by a diver at a depth of 120m, to the night hunt for 700 sharks in Fakarava, to the longest and deepest dives in Antarctica and the twilight landscapes of the Mediterranean, Laurent illustrates the underwater world with an unparalleled naturalist and artistic eye.

He is also the author of 13 photography books dedicated to underwater wildlife.

2014 - Pierre Frolla

In 1999, he became world record holder in free immersion. In 2004, he obtained his fourth world record in the "variable weight" category, by reaching 123 meters. In 2007, following the death of his friend Loïc Leferme, he realized that it was time to stop competing and to contribute, in his own way, to the preservation of the underwater world. He then decided to devote himself to teaching his passion in a school he created in Monaco in 2002 (L'école Bleue), and to shooting documentaries.

It then becomes :

- Director of the Monegasque Academy of the Sea, which offers diving, freediving, water rescue and first aid courses.

- He is a lecturer, travelling the world to share his story, his commitments, his daily struggles in the fields of research, education, awareness of environmental protection and animal species, especially sharks.

- Actor and coach of actors who work in the underwater environment. 

2013 - Rémi Attuyt

 Trained as a journalist, Rémi Attuyt then worked as an editor and then as a director in various companies in the South of France (France Television, ARTE, M6, Canal +, etc...). Editor-in-chief, then Editorial Director of various lifestyle and leisure magazines, Rémi then directed the prestigious World Festival of Underwater Pictures in Marseille, from 2013 to 2015. 

Created in Antibes in 1974 by Daniel Mercier, the
theme of this festival was underwater film and photography, with a series of competitions and prizes awarded by a jury. During the festival, competing films, photographs and music were presented to the public. First held in Antibes from 1974 to 2008, notably at Marineland and the Palais des Congrès d'Antibes, the festival then moved to Marseille, from 2009 to 2015. In 2016, the festival went into receivership and was taken over by Frédéric Presles, a producer and director of underwater documentaries who won awards at the festival in 1997 and 1998. The festival was reborn in 2017 under a new identity and became AQUATIC FESTIVAL, now also focusing on all maritime and aquatic fields. 

After 2015, Rémi Attuyt continued his career as Editor-in-Chief in a press group, then Communication Director in a consulting firm, and then co-founded the label "Lab RSE Innovation", in 2018, which deals with Corporate Social Responsibility. 

Born in Lyon in 1959, René Heuzey grew up in Marseille and developed a passion for the secrets of the underwater world from an early age. After training with the marine fire department and graduating as a class II scuba diver, he set up his own underwater production and services company, LABEL BLEU PRODUCTION. Today, with over two thousand shoots in all the world's seas and oceans, working at
depths of over 100 meters with special mixes and an image bank of over 1,700 hours, he is the underwater eye of many directors, while pursuing his own productions. His activities include advertising, documentaries, news reports, fiction and live broadcasts.

His latest works, "Planet of the Giants" (2016) and "Sperm Whale Conquest" (2018) with François Sarano, remain in the memories of festival-goers, dazzled by these majestic and extremely surprising encounters.  

2011 - Christian Pétron

Bomb disposal diver in the French Navy in the 60s,

Christian Pétron founded Photomarine in 1975. He made more than 20 underwater wildlife documentaries for the TV program "Les animaux du monde", then became director of photography for the underwater sequences of the cult film "Le grand bleu", and a few years later for the film "Atlantis".

He was the technical director of the exploration campaigns on
the wreck of the TITANIC organized by the American channel Discovery Chanel. From 1996 to 1998, he shot 4 52-minute films on the exploration of the TITANIC wreck.

Following his experience in deep-sea imaging, James Cameron offered him, in 2002, a technical collaboration for his new productions with the " Deep Rover ".

He regularly continues to enchant audiences with his award-winning productions at various festivals: Mémoire de Port Cros (2011), the Great White Sharks of Guadeloupe (2014) or, more recently, "Il était une fois l'image sous-marine", presented in 2019 at the Festival Sub'limage de Nouvelle-Calédonie.