2014 Cairns Underwater Film Festival!

Cuff callforentries TangaroaThe Great Barrier Reef Photo and Video competition for the 2014 Cairns Underwater Film Festival is now open for entries with a massive prize pool worth over $70,000.

This year we have a new video category and will be raising money for local marine charities: the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation, the Minke Whale Project and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

The competition is running over the next three months leading up to the festival, with entries for the film competition closing on the 12th July, whilst the photo competition closes on the 23rd July. Festival organisers are now calling on local underwater photographers and filmmakers to get their entries ready.

In 2013 the festival, which is run on a not-for-profit basis, donated 3 giant cheques at the Cairns Underwater Film Festival totalling $20,000 to our local marine charities: $7,500 to the Minke Whale Project, $7,500 to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation and $5,000 to the Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

This year's competition prize pool includes dive expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Bull Shark diving in Palau and Great White Shark diving in South Australia. We have to acknowledge and thank the dive and tourism industry for the tremendous support and commitment they have shown to the festival. Once again we have an incredible prize pool, which includes a range of diving and snorkelling day trips, underwater camera equipment and courses.

The video competition's new 'Raw Takes' category will also give entrants a fresh challenge. This is your best money shots and can be from 5-60 seconds. Stuart Ireland, volunteer board member 'Most digital cameras have video capability these days and can take some fantastic footage. An appealing part of this category is that no editing or soundtrack or narration is required which is time consuming and has often limited entrants' There is an added bonus as this can be filmed anywhere in Australia.

Photo competition categories include:
Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea Categories
• Compact Macro – Close up using compact camera system.
• Compact Wide – Wide Angle using a compact camera system.
• Wide Angle Nature – Celebrating the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea.
• Macro – Celebrating the little guys.
• Diver(s) – Scuba divers & snorkelers in harmony with the reef
• Young Photographer – An opportunity for the under 16?s to show off their best underwater photos
International Categories
• Best of World - Your best images from around the world.
• Creative – Images from around the world to let your imagination go wild (photoshop manipulation allowed).
Video competition categories include:
• Short Film – Non-professional
• Short Film – Professional
• Raw Takes – Your best money shots
• Film makers donation

The 8th Annual Cairns Underwater Film Festival will be held on the 23th August 2014 at the Cairns Civic Theatre.

For further details: http://www.cairnsunderwaterfilmfestival.com

All photos must be appropriately credited and can only be used in conjunction with this release

About the Festival:

The 2014 Cairns Underwater Film Festival will once again bring you a selection of the best underwater films from around the world including:
• World Underwater award winning movies and premieres.
• Local North Queensland underwater photographers and filmmakers showcase
• Winners of the 2014 Cairns Underwater Film Festival Photo and Short Film Competition

Last year's event included international filmmakers and photographers including Howard Hall, Leondro Blanco, Simon Spears and Shawn Hendrichs alongside Australian talent including: David Hannan and Stuart Ireland in a night of award-winning imagery. The feature film Wild Ocean from the Blue Ocean film Festival was also shown.

Run by a team of passionate volunteers the festival screens a combination of local and international talent, giving filmmakers a chance to showcase their talent in the only Australian festival of its kind. The Cairns Underwater Film Festival delights those who love to explore the underwater world, appreciate nature and have a passion for world-class imagery.

The festival is now in its 8th successive year. The event is staged by a volunteer board and run as a not for profit organisation, giving back to the local community.

The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, the Minke Whale Project and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation will be the 2014 funding recipients. Attendees of the Film Festival and participants of the Underwater Film and Photo Competition can take pride in knowing they are contributing to the welfare of these iconic local species.

The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles and is located on Fitzroy Island.

The Minke Whale Project which is based at James Cook University conducts multi-disciplinary research into dwarf minke whale biology and behaviour, the social and economic values of the whales and the sustainable management of swim-with-whales tourism. The research team works collaboratively with the local swim-with-minke whales tourism industry, reef managers and wildlife conservation NGOs.

The Tangaroa Blue Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation focused on the health of our marine environment, and coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities, organisations and agencies around the country monitoring the impacts of marine debris along their stretch of coastline.