Look out Sundance, St. Petersburg is bringing their “A game” with the Sunscreen Film Festival.
Already in its eighth year, the Sunscreen Film Festival, presented by the not-for-profit St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society, has been cited as one of the nation's top film education festivals. With submissions from Korea, Australia and many European countries the festival has earned its stripes as one of the most respected film festivals in the world. And while locals can come to enjoy the submitted films, the festival’s executive director Tony Armer says entertainment is one of many focuses of the Sunscreen Film Festival.
“The festival is about a lot of different things, but a few of the big things is supporting the art of films, supporting local filmmakers and supporting film education,” Armer said.
One of approximately 5,000 such events, the Sunscreen Film Festival was working on a way to stand out when they earned a sponsorship by the sponsored and acknowledged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 2013.
The Sunscreen Film Festival is one of only 23 festivals to be sponsored by the Academy.
“The Bay area is 23 percent Hispanic and there are no Hispanic or Latino film festivals in the area,” Armer said. “One of their outreach things that [The Academy] want to do is expand into Spanish-speaking markets, so they were supportive and as a result of that it’s great to be able to say that the Academy is sponsoring and that raises our level of notoriety and how we’re perceived in the film festival world.”
As a result of the sponsorship, Armer believes the standard for quality of films submitted to the festival was raised.