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2017 LIDA Film Festival

Presenter Bios

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Paul Cater Deaton

Paul Cater DeatonFrom modest beginnings as a movie grip in 1978, Paul Cater Deaton has become an internationally acclaimed, award-winning writer, producer, director and cinematographer.

PCD has filmed on six continents and thrives in all spheres of production, from aerial to undersea. Credits include HBO Documentaries, Animal Planet, The Amazing Race, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS, Tri-Star, Paramount and Warner Bros. His underwater documentaries have aired all over the world, and he is internationally published.

Paul is a member of the Television Academy and The Explorers Club, among others. Over the past 20 years, PCD has presented at hundreds of seminars, workshops and film festivals around the world. He lives in the Virgin Islands.

Presenting: "Bethlehem in the Bohol Sea"

For years, divers in Indonesia and the Philippines have engaged in a friendly rivalry as to which island nation is home to the best and most underwater critters. Divers on the Philippines island of Negros call their home, "Bethlehem," short for "Better Than Lembeh." The confluence of the Sulu and Bohol Seas, in the Philippines, is home to some of the most diverse marine populations in the world. Paul Cater Deaton captures vivid images of creatures great and small, from the whale sharks of Oslob to the comical big-eyed squat lobsters of Dumaguete. Better than Lembeh? You be the judge!

See more of Paul's work at:


Michael Salvarezza & Christopher Weaver

Chris WeaverMichael SalvarezzaMichael Salvarezza and Christopher Weaver have been diving the waters of the world since 1978. In that time, they have spent hundreds of hours underwater and have accumulated a large and varied library of photographic images.

In 1994, Salvarezza and Weaver formed a company called Eco-Photo Explorers, a New York based organization to help promote public interest in protecting the underwater environment through knowledge and awareness using underwater photography. Their photo and freelance writing are all utilized to achieve this goal.

They have presented their work in many multi-media presentations, and have appeared previously at Beneath the Sea, Boston Sea Rovers Underwater Clinic, Our World Underwater and the Long Island Divers Association Film Festival.

Mike and Chris have been published in numerous magazines, including National Geographic Adventure, and have authored many articles for the majority of the dive publications the world over. Their work has also been used to support a number of research and educational programs, including the Jason Project for Education, the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in New York and the Cambridge University and the University of Groningen Arctic Centre work on monitoring the transformation of historic features in Antarctica and Svalbard.

Presenting: "Shades of Blue: Exploring the Central Atolls of the Maldives"

The Maldives have long held a spot on many diver bucket lists. With picture-perfect beaches, remote island atolls and spectacular diving, the attraction is understandable. Join Eco-Photo Explorers as they explore the central atolls of this island paradise from a luxury liveaboard operation. Explore the magnificent world beneath the tropical seas of the Maldives, with just a small dash of decadence thrown in! Travel tips, expedition logistics and some of the world’s best diving will be featured in this informative program.

Visit Eco-Photo Explorers at:


Michel Labrecque & Julie Ouimet

Julie Ouimet and Michel LabrecqueMichel and Julie are the owners of N2Pix Images that specializes in underwater imagery (combining photography and video) and expeditions. They are published photojournalists, guest speakers at major dive conferences, short film producers as well as accomplished instructors and technical divers. Both are Fellows of the Explorers Club and Associate members of the Boston Sea Rovers. Michel is also a PADI Ambassadiver and a DAN Examiner.

Presenting: "Clipperton: Cursed by Isolation"

Considered the most isolated atoll on the planet, Clipperton's unique ecosystem is threatened by overfishing, pollution and ultimately its isolation. In January 2016, we lead an Explorers Club Flag - scientific expedition to Clipperton under special authorization from the French Government (#HC/1838/CAB). The ultimate goal of the mission: to assess the health of shark populations and the marine ecosystem and tag sharks to attempt to establish connectivity with protected islands in the ETP (Cocos, Galapagos, Malpelo, Coiba, Revillagigedos) to demonstrate the necessity to protect the atoll and create a MPA. On site, we found a lost island littered by trash, evident traces of long lining and intense illegal fishing. Clipperton's unique ecosystem is in crisis and is in need of protection.

See more of Michel and Julie's work at:


Renata Rojas & Joanna Lentini

Joanna LentiniRenata RojasBorn in Mexico City and based in New York City, Renata Rojas is a Mexican master diver. Renata's father was a dive instructor. Following in his footsteps, she began diving in Cozumel, at age 12. As an associate member of the Explorers Club, Renata's world-wide diving experience includes the Galapagos Archipelago, cage diving with great white sharks near Guadalupe, Mexico, cave diving, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and the coral reefs of the Maldives, amongst others.

Renata's childhood fascination with the RMS Titanic culminated with her competing for (and winning) a spot in the 2012 Titanic Expedition. The expedition's objective was to dive (in a Russian submersible) to more than 12,000 feet to the ship's final resting place.

Although Renata's dive was cancelled twice, she still dreams of diving on the RMS Titanic one day. In the Meantime, Renata has gotten involved in a number of expeditions including the Sedna Epic Proof-of Concept Expedition in 2014, participated in the first private submersible dives to the wreck of the Andrea Doria and did a legendary submersible dive to the wreck of the Britannic during the 2016 Britannic Expedition making her the 2nd woman ever to visit the wreck site since it was found by Jacques Cousteau. Out of the water, Renata works for a large European bank. Equipped with a MBA, she's a Senior VP director of loan syndications and trading, with a focus on Latin America.

Joanna Lentini is an award-winning photographer, writer, explorer, and conservationist. Joanna’s passion for wildlife and marine environments first ignited at the early age of 11, tagging horseshoe crabs on the Jersey Shore. However, it wasn’t until 2009 when she made an official entrée into the ocean conservation movement. Having moved to Hong Kong, Joanna contributed her lifelong passion for photography and video to the plight of the critically endangered Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis), working as a volunteer videographer for Hong Kong DolphinWatch Ltd. A panda conservation mission deep in the mountains of China’s Sichuan province soon followed.

Ultimately, the combined interests of photography, wildlife, and especially the underwater world led her to found Deep Focus Images, which is focused on raising awareness and support for wildlife and environmental conservation through imagery and text. Joanna has since contributed photos and published articles for various print and online publications including Sport Diver, Ocean Geographic, Underwater Photography Magazine, DiveAdvisor, ScubaDiver AustralAsia, and DivePhotoGuide. During surface intervals at home in the New York City area, Joanna satisfies her “waterlust” by photographing children in local pools to help initiate them with the underwater world.

Wildlife remains Joanna’s deepest passion, and her work both topside and underwater has taken her face to face with some of the planet’s most incredible creatures ranging from sharks and crocodiles to polar bears and snow monkeys. Having lived in 4 countries across 3 continents, she has now visited close to 50 countries and logged hundreds of dives in diverse environments around the world from Australia and Palau to Austria and the Arctic. Joanna is a PADI Master Scuba Diver and a certified Aquanaut.

Joanna holds a bachelors degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from Rider University, and is a student of the New York Institute of Photography. She is also a member of the Sedna Epic Expedition, OGXplorers and Ocean Artist Society.

Presenting: "Sedna Epic Expedition: Bringing the Ocean to Eye Level"

During July 25-August 4, 2016, the Sedna Epic Team visited the town of Iqaluit, one of the small Inuit communities on Baffin Island to deliver their ocean-based outreach program to the communities by bringing the ocean to eye level by using mobile touch aquariums, underwater robots and dive safaris to allow the Inuit to experience the Arctic water for the first time. The women from the Sedna Epic Team aim to inspire girls and young women to think big and to follow their dreams by providing mentorship to Inuit youth, introducing them to the possibility of careers in marine biology, fisheries management, seafood harvesting, ocean engineering, remotely operated vehicle pilots, marine archaeology, climate science, movie-making and photography, and as dive masters and dive instructors in the nascent dive and snorkel tourism industry in Nunavut.

Learn about the Sedna Epic Expedition at:


Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey

Olga TorreyLarry CohenLarry Cohen started diving in 1989. Because of his background as a commercial and editorial photographer, he started taking photographs underwater right from the beginning. He is a past president of The NYC Sea Gypsies, co-founder of NYUPS and crews on the NJ dive boat John Jack. His photos have appeared in such magazines as X-Ray Magazine, Sport Diver, Scuba Diving, Alert Diver, Diver, Immersed, Advanced Diver, Sub Aqua Journal, InVertum and Northeast Dive News. Larry is also a technical writer for B&H Photo.

Originally from Russia Olga Torrey has been living in New York City for the past 20 years. She has a college honor degree in physical education and worked as a gym teacher, athletic director, and gym owner back in the former USSR. She is also a fine artist and Life member of the Art Students League of New York. Olga spends as much time underwater as possible. She has taken her talent as a fine artist and applied her skills to photography both above and below the water. Olga has taken underwater photographs from the warm waters of Bonaire to the green rich waters of Alaska. She crews on the NJ dive boat the John Jack. She has been published in InVertum, X-Ray Magazine, Dive, Northeast Dive News and The Ultimate Depth.

Presenting: "Cuba: Back to the Future"

See more of Larry's work at:
See more of Olga's work at:


Captains Stephen & Maureen Langevin

Maureen LangevinStephen LangevinSteve and Maureen Langevin are PADI instructors, technical divers, and US Coast Guard licensed Captains. They founded Dive Voyager Expeditions, a company that specializes in scuba instruction and filmmaking. Christopher Drew, technical diver and Divemaster recently joined the DVE Team. Steve and Maureen introduce students to diving in the Northeast aboard their dive boat “Voyager” and produce films to entertain audiences about our amazing undersea world and rich maritime history.

Through Dive Voyager Expeditions, they bring out the spirit of ocean exploration through award winning documentary films such as Pioneers of Northeast Wreck Diving, Women of Northeast Wreck Diving, Search for the HMS Sylph and A Shipwreck’s Secret, a story about the expedition to recover a 5,000 pound anchor from the wreck of the Stolt Dagali which is available for online viewing at SnagFilms. The artifact was donated to the Museum of NJ Maritime History where it is displayed prominently at the entranceway.

Their educational children’s series Our Precious Ocean is fun and entertaining but also teaches young people important facts about sharks, coral reefs and how destructive fishing, plastics and balloons can be harmful. The film Lost at Sea: Texas Tower Disaster debuted in 2012 as a rough cut and they have many more films available or are in progress.

Their work has been featured on television, in magazines & newspaper articles, at dive events and film festivals. Maureen is a proud member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Check out their work on the Dive Voyager Expeditions YouTube Channel or follow their Facebook page.

Presenting: "USS Algol - The Demon Star"

USS Algol, a 459-foot Andromeda class attack transport ship sunk 1991 on the Shark River reef is a popular wreck dive in the Northeast. In this documentary, the ship comes alive with exciting stories and unique images and video about her rich maritime history told by a WWII veteran. Long Island diver Captain Dan Berg tells the story of her sinking and shares video of the ship’s new life as an artificial reef. After her sinking, the ship became a thriving eco-system for many marine creatures. Knowing the ship’s story brings new respect and admiration. She is not just an artificial reef anymore and diving her will never be the same.

Visit Dive Voyager Expeditions at:


Sally A. Wahrmann & Mary McAllister Davis

Mary McAllister DavisSally Wahrmann

Certified in 1978, Sally soon became an avid Northeast wreck diver. She attained seven specialty certifications, in addition to divemaster and master diver. As crew on the R/V Wahoo, she logged 60 dives on the famed wreck of the Andrea Doria (all using air). She is always willing to introduce a new diver to the mysteries of Northeast wreck diving. Sally has presented for many dive clubs through out the country. She was inducted in the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2002.

Mary became a certified scuba diver while at Hofstra University in 1986. After graduating, she went to dental school at SUNY Stony Brook. In 2011 Mary received a training grant from Women Divers Hall of Fame, which became the catalyst for her current diving career. She is an instructor and avid wreck diver, giving presentations on several topics to the diving community. Mary is in charge of wreck diving activities for "The Dive Club." She is an active Associate Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Presenting: "WWII on America's Shores"

During World War II German U-boats torpedoed and sunk approximately 400 ships killing over 5,000 people. Many of these people were civilians and merchant marines serving on freighters. The area located off the outer banks in NC became known as "Torpedo Alley;" one of the graveyards of the Atlantic Ocean. The Dive Club of Long Island recently made a trip to Morehead City, NC to dive some of these shipwrecks and revisit history. Our presentation will cover the underwater history of several of these wrecks with pictures and video of our adventures.

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Last modified: November 29 2019