Local marine filmmaker Hall wins NOGI Award

Longtime Del Mar resident Michele Hall will receive a NOGI Award for The Arts from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.

A Lucite statuette crafted by artist Wyland will be presented to Hall at a gala on Nov. 18, during the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association’s (DEMA) annual trade show in Las Vegas.

Hall was a nurse for 19 years before joining her husband, Howard, in the “family business” of making underwater films. She is also an underwater photographer whose photos have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, International Wildlife, National Wildlife, Tauchen, Ocean Realm, Fathoms, BBC Wildlife and Ranger Rick, among others.

Since joining Howard Hall Productions, Michele Hall has authored a children’s book, “The Shark Project Book” (1993), and produced or co-produced seven one-hour natural history marine wildlife television documentary films, including “Shadows in a Desert Sea” (PBS Nature 1992), the National Geographic Special “Jewels of the Caribbean” (1994), the five-part PBS series “Secrets of the Ocean Realm” (1997) and “Shark Mountain” (PBS Nature 2005).

In 1994, Hall was location manager for the first IMAX

3-D underwater film “Into the Deep.” In 1998, she produced another IMAX film, “Island of the Sharks,” which was directed by her husband. In 2001, Hall was location manager and line producer for MacGillivray Freeman’s “Coral Reef Adventure,” an IMAX film released in 2003. The Halls and their film crew also appeared in the film.

In 2006, Michele Hall co-produced the IMAX feature “Deep Sea 3-D.” It has become one of the five highest-grossing 3-D films ever produced by IMAX — producing more than $81 million. In 2009, she co-produced “Under the Sea 3-D.”

Hall is a charter member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, Filmmakers for Conservation, and a lifetime member of the Historical Diving Society and the San Diego Oceans Foundation. She received the Boston Sea Rovers 2003 Diver of the Year Award and the 2004 SeaSpace/PADI Environmental Award.

The NOGI Award has been given annually since 1960. Its four categories — Distinguished Service, The Arts, Science and Sports/Education —recognize dive pioneers and leaders who have had a global impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety and preservation of the underwater world.

The three people who will receive NOGIs along with Hall are: Hillary Hauser, author and founder of “Heal the Ocean” (Distinguished Service); Paul Humann, author/photographer/publisher (Sports/Education); and Michael Lang, director of the Smithsonian Marine Science Network (Science).

Previous NOGI recipients include: Jacques-Yves Cou-steau and his sons, Jean-Michel and Philippe; filmmakers James Cameron and Howard Hall; astronaut Scott Carpenter; actor Lloyd Bridges; scientists Sylvia Earle and Eugenie Clark; and the discoverer of the Titanic, Robert Ballard.

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