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2021 LIDA Film Festival

Presenter Bios

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Paul Cater Deaton

Paul Cater DeatonA movie grip in the dawn of his career, Paul Cater Deaton is now an award-winning Writer, Producer, Director and Cinematographer. Based in Galveston, he works all over the world on film, TV, music video and documentary projects. Paul is Production Manager with i45NOW, a news gathering agency serving national networks and affiliates in the greater Houston area. He is also Executive Producer for Nassau Bay Television, in Nassau Bay, Texas, home to thousands of NASA employees. Much of the programming features NASA Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston.

PCD engages in productions ranging from commercials, corporate content, music videos and documentaries to TV programs and full-length motion pictures. His work has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, BBC, MTV, CMT, HBO, VH1, ESPN, Fox, The Discovery Channel, NatGeo Wild, Animal Planet, HBO Documentaries, The Amazing Race, Nickelodeon, Showtime, TV2 Caribbean, Austin Music Network, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Tri-Star, Veronica Broadcasting (The Netherlands), ARD German Television, Planete TV (Poland), Beatty Satellite (Saudi Arabia), Proxima (Bulgaria), Caribbean Broadcasting Union, the Travel Channel, Wrangler TV, DirecTV, Comedy Central, E! Entertainment TV, Bravo, Ocean in Google Earth, and at the United Nations.

Paul's work has garnered several industry accolades, including Best Music Video at the 2004 Austin Music Awards at SXSW, a Bronze Telly, Communicator Awards, Videographer Award, Aegis Award, numerous Gold and Silver Addy Awards, and an Addy Best in Show Video. His "Showdown at Tiger Beach" has been an official selection at several international film festivals, and won Best Documentary Short at two of them.

He was one of the original three filmmakers selected to produce for Ocean in Google Earth, creating pieces for the Red Sea, Mediterranean, Western Indian Ocean, Great Barrier Reef, Philippines, Coral Triangle and Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Sea focus areas.

Deaton is a member of the Television Academy, The Explorers Club, Boston Sea Rovers, Historical Diving Society, and Rotary Club. He was honored by Rotary International with a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2004. PCD is a popular speaker and emcee, making appearances at international events. With Elena Kobrinski and Monica Gephart, he founded the Reef Renaissance Film Festival® in 2012. He is a NAUI SCUBA Instructor, TDI certified in Nitrox and Rebreather Diving. Certified in Global Shark Biology, Biodiversity and Conservation by Cornell University and the University of Queensland, Australia, he gave a highly rated TEDx Talk on Shark Conservation.

Presenting: "Exploring the Flower Garden - the National Reef of Texas"

When asked about their favorite coral reef dive site in the state, Texas SCUBA divers jokingly say, “Cozumel.” But what a lot of people don’t know is that the Lone Star State has an extensive coral reef system offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. It was designated the 10th National Marine Sanctuary on 17 January 1992. It is the only marine sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico.

The story goes that the Flower Garden got its name from fishermen who could see the colorful corals and sponges from their boats on the surface. As soon as the bubbles clear, one can see just how appropriate that name is. The underwater topography reveals ranges of mountainous corals, punctuated by sponges and loads of sea life, including sharks and manta rays.

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: "It Came From the Muck: Indonesia's Lembeh Straight"

For some divers, travelling half-way around the world is only worth it if there are big animals, fabulous coral reefs or spectacular shipwrecks to explore. But Indonesia's Lembeh straight, between Lembeh Island and the mainland of North Sulawesi, is a world away from home and presents a completely different type of experience. Here, divers explore a sandy, silty, muck bottom to search for the tiniest of creatures. Garishly colored Nudibranchs, myriad species of shrimp, and other invertebrates unique to these waters beckon divers from all around the world to come and find what lies lurking in the muck!

Join Eco-Photo Explorers as they search for Pygmy Sea Horses, Dwarf Frogfish, tiny Cuttlefish and numerous other surprises in these fascinating waters. Along the way, experience the mating of the gaudy but shy Mandarinfish and uncover the secrets of Lembeh at night.

See more of Mike and Chris' work at:


Michel Labrecque & Julie Ouimet (N2Pix)

Julie OuimetMichel Labrecque

Michel and Julie are explorers and image makers who have traveled to some of the most remote areas of our planet. They are technical trimix divers, rebreather divers, the previous owners of an award-winning PADI 5-Star IDC center and accomplished dive training professionals.

Since 2014, they have devoted themselves to underwater imagery and exploration. Michel is a photojournalist and Julie is an expedition videographer and filmmaker. They are contributors for several dive publications, public speakers and the authors of a book.

Michel and Julie are both Fellows of the Explorers Club and Associate Members of the Boston Sea Rovers. They have twice been bestowed the honor of carrying the Explorers flag to Clipperton atoll and the findings of their 2 scientific missions to the atoll contributed to the creation of a marine protected area. In 2018 they received the Explorers Club Citation of Merit in recognition of their "exemplary accomplishments in Field Science and Conservation". In 2016, Michel was named a PADI Ambassador and in 2019, Julie was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Presenting: "On Land & at Sea – the people, the places, the diving"

As scuba divers, we visit incredible places. We are privileged to visit amazing underwater realms. But it’s not only about the diving, it’s also about the adventures, the countries we visit, the people we meet, the cultures we get introduced to.

See more of Michel and Julie's work at:


Pete Venoutsos

Pete VenutsousPeter Venoutsos has been a certified diver since 1976 and a commercial diver since 1983. His experience includes working with private underwater engineering firms, the Federal Government and the US Navy.

He is an active member of the Connecticut Underwater Archeology Committee and his interests include underwater photography, shipwrecks & cave diving. He is the founder of American Scuba Adventures a underwater video company with the goal of promoting diving in the United States and around the world.

Presenting: "Diving Vancouver Island"

Jacques Yves Cousteau is quoted as saying that diving Vancouver Island is second only to the Red sea. The Pacific Northwest has some of the most spectacular diving around from Giant Pacific Octopus to Stellar Sea lions and many other colorful creatures in between.

For more information, visit:


Cris Kohl & Joan Forsberg

Cris Kohl, Joan ForsbergCris Kohl and Joan Forsberg, well-known maritime historians, scuba divers, authors, lecturers, photographers, and videographers, are a husband-and-wife team who love to explore shipwrecks, particularly those in the Great Lakes.

They both have university degrees in History, and underwater archaeology certifications from Great Britain’s Nautical Archaeology Society.

Cris, a prize-winning underwater photographer, is a past board member of the Ontario Underwater Council, and Past President of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago. In 2008, he received the lifetime achievement award from Our World – Underwater, and in 2013, the Save Ontario Shipwrecks Marine Heritage Award.

Joan was a three-term President of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago, and was inducted into the international Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2010, for which she was a three-term Chairman of the Board.

The authors of 19 books and the producers of 16 documentaries, they are popular speakers and have appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, CTV, CBS, and PBS, and were featured on Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown.

Presenting: "Shipwreck Tales of Georgian Bay"

Historic Georgian Bay, on the Canadian side of Lake Huron, was the first body of water in the Great Lakes to be seen by early European explorers. It has been called the sixth Great Lake due to its huge size - and it has claimed many shipwrecks, some tragic, all dramatic. This exciting presentation, full of history and underwater video, shares three of these Georgian Bay stories: the 2017 discovery of the tragic steamer, JANE MILLER lost in 1881, and the 2018 discoveries of the steamer, J.H.JONES, lost with all hands in 1906, and the steel steamer MANASOO, which sank with tragic results in 1928, with the discovery of this dramatic, unique shipwreck going worldwide viral.


Maureen & Stephen Langevin

Stephen LangevinMaureen and Steve 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: "Papua New Guinea, Kimbe Bay, in the Middle of the Coral Triangle"

Journey along with a group from the Women Divers Hall of Fame as they explore this remote dive destination and descend into the crystal blue waters of Kimber Bay. Large schools of Barracuda patrol sea mounts, Manta shrimp scuttle along the bottom near an atoll and several species of clownfish play in their poisonous Sea Anemone homes. Suddenly, out of the murk, a WWI Japanese zero fighter plane appears on the sandy bottom, as if just landed after completing its last mission.

Visit Dive Voyager Expeditions at:


Christopher LaPorta

Christopher LaPortaChris LaPorta is a Long Island native who fished the local bays and Atlantic Ocean while growing up. LaPorta received a degree in Marine Biology from Southampton College where he was introduced to the local underwater world through a Diving in Marine Science class, earning his first SCUBA certifications. This class started his life-long fascination with the marine environment and decades of exploring the unique and complex Atlantic and Pacific ecosystems. LaPorta’s interests include marine conservation, underwater photography, and historical shipwrecks.

In 2000, he became the Artificial Reef Program Coordinator for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). As DEC’s Reef Program Coordinator, LaPorta oversees the “aquatic recycling” of materials of opportunity, including clean rock and steel vessels that enhance the local marine environment and become new homes and stopovers for local and transient marine species including Atlantic cod, blackfish, lobster, black sea bass, striped bass, bluefish, sharks, and dolphins. He works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, U.S. Coast Guard, and National Ocean Service, among other agencies, to maintain the reef permits required to deploy properly prepared materials on New York’s reef sites. In addition, LaPorta dives on the different reefs to document how they are performing as part of the New York Reef Monitoring Program. An avid diver, he is always on the lookout for steel vessels as new reef building projects that will provide additional SCUBA opportunities for fellow divers.

Presenting: "New York’s Sunken Treasures - Governor Cuomo’s Artificial Reef Initiative and the Resurgence of the New York Artificial Reef Program"

The New York Artificial Reef Program has been placing materials on its many reef sites in Great South Bay, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean since the 1960s. The Reef Program secures, prepares, and deploys secondary use materials on its sites, which in turn provide shelter, forage, and sometimes spawning areas for local species. In 2018, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo established the State’s “Artificial Reef Initiative” by forming a multi-agency effort to recycle a wide variety of surplus materials, creating an array of patch reefs on the New York Reef sites. Deployed materials include parts of the former New York Thruway Authority Tappan Zee Bridge, New York Canal Corporation vessels and barges, New York Power Authority steel turbines, New York Department of Transportation concrete and steel demolition materials, and most recently steel rail cars donated by the Wells Fargo Rail Corporation. To-date, the Governor’s Reef Initiative has successfully sunk more than 20 steel vessels and barges on the reef sites.

For more information about the New York Artificial Reef Program including Governor Cuomo’s Reef Initiative, visit:

For information on how you can help the New York Reef Monitoring Program as a Volunteer Reef Diver, visit:

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Last modified: May 07 2021