The festival’s history dates back to 1979 when all public production of films, photographs, and art works was subjected to strict censorship in the totalitarian Czechoslovakia and travel across the border into the so-called civilized world required considerable effort and the right political profile. In that time a group of enthusiasts from Tachov’s divers club Alpha decided to organize an event at which representatives of diving clubs from Czechoslovakia would present their films. And because divers are by nature competitive, films were not only screened but the best ones were also awarded with prizes. The films were evaluated by all participants. The event had a great response and so in the consecutive years films were joined by photos and later slides. Not only the diving clubs but also individuals from Czechoslovakia and authors from around the world started competing with each other. The evaluation of individual works was handed over to professional jurors from among the celebrities of film and photography.
No one would have guessed that the small local event would become one of the most globally recognized international festivals that is sought-after by a broad audience and attended by both amateur and professional underwater photographers and filmmakers from around the world.
The competition is divided into several categories. The main photography prize “Top Photographer” is annually awarded to a successful photographer in the category of Author Portfolio in which the authors present four photographs of a specified topic. A similar prize, but in the film category, is the festival’s “Grand Prix” which is awarded to the most successful film selected by a jury across all categories.
Only one hundred is selected from many hundreds of photos sent to the competition. These photos are then printed in a large format and included in the touring exhibition which can be seen in several cities in the Czech Republic.
The children’s art work contest had become an equally important part of the festival. This competition is annually attended by hundreds of children from primary, secondary and art school. The works created by children and youth annually decorate the spaces of Tachov’s Social Grounds Mže, where the festival is held.
The main organizer of the festival is the Divers Association of Czech Republic and the festival is realized by the Divers Club Alpha with the help of the town Tachov.
Congratulations to All winners!