Meet the judges!

Judging Pannel

Judges Biographies

Jonathan Bird and Christine Rooney-Bird

TV Show Host / Underwater Cinematographer / Film Producers

Jonathan is an Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer and producer, president of the non-profit organization Oceanic Research Group as well as a widely published author, award-winning assignment cinematographer, photographer and speaker. He is the author of 7 books, director of over 20 films and a member of the Wyland Ocean Artist Society. His series has won 8 Emmy Awards and can be seen on YouTube or
Christine, a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, is a family medicine physician by training, working at a community health center in Massachusetts. She has filled many roles with Oceanic Research Group and Jonathan Bird Productions, working as Production Assistant, Production Manager and Researcher on several films. She was the Production Manager for Sharks: Deep Trouble for National Geographic Channel. As the Executive Producer of Jonathan Bird’s Blue World, Christine is in charge of funding.
Their work has appeared all over the world, on networks such as National Geographic Channel, PBS, ABC, USA Network, Discovery and even the SciFi Channel. Jonathan is the president and founder of Oceanic Research Group, Inc.,, a non-profit environmental organization founded in 1990 to promote conservation of the world’s oceans.

Michael Pitts

Cinematographer and Film producer

Michael Pitts is a renowned cinematographer and film producer who specialises in underwater productions. His work has appeared in numerous BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic television productions. Michael was principal cameraman on all the underwater filming on ‘Mission Galapagos’ a new three part, BBC series due for transmission in March 2017.
He has been awarded EMMY’s for cinematography on two landmark BBC productions, Sir David Attenborough’s, ‘The Private Life of Plants’ and ‘Blue Planet’. In addition he has received the Kodak award for cinematographic excellence.
He is currently in the final stages of post-production on a major six part series on conservation and the environment. The films, narrated by David Attenborough and set in Hong Kong and China are due for release in May 2017. The series will be distributed primarily throughout South East Asia.
In addition he was the Director of Photography on, ‘A Plastic Ocean’, the film made for cinema gives a glimpse at the proliferation of plastic and the damage it causes in all of the world’s oceans. Released in January 2017 and now on general release across the globe it is already having an impact on people’s perceptions on the health of our seas.
An ardent shipwreck enthusiast Michael is about to embark on filming the excavation and recovery of artefacts on the, ‘Invincible’ a 3rd Rate, 74 gun, warship wrecked off Portsmouth in 1758.

Michel Labrecque and Julie Ouimet

Founders of Turquoise Bay International Underwater Film Festival

Canadians Michel Labrecque and Julie Ouimet are Fellows of the Explorers Club (FI’16) and Associate Members of the Boston Sea Rovers and co-owners of N2Pix. They have been leading expeditions for several years and are guest speakers in Canada and the United States. Their underwater images and films have been presented throughout the USA, Canada and Europe. They write articles and are regular contributors with En Profondeur and Diver UK (dive magazines). Their credits include Smitshonian, National Geographic, Discovery, Sport Diver, Diver (UK and Canada), Ocean Geographic, national TV networks and many others.
Michel is a photojournalist, PADI Ambassador and Master-Instructor, DAN Examiner, IANTD Trimix Instructor, PSI Instructor, Tec Rec Technical Instructor, TDI Technical Sidemount Instructor and EFR Instructor Trainer amongst numerous other dive certifications. Julie is a videographer and filmmaker. She is a Trimix diver and Technical supervisor, PADI Assistant-Instructor, DAN and EFR Instructor.
N2Pix specializes in underwater imagery and scuba travel and expeditions. Largely influenced by the need to protect the ocean, lately their work has focused on shark conservation.



More judges will be announced soon, come back at a latter date!


Email: TBD