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Sunscreen Film Fest brings big parties, hundreds of new films to St. Pete this April

Sunscreen Film Fest brings big parties, hundreds of new films to St. Pete this April

People watching a movie

The annual Sunscreen Film Festival is making its return to St. Pete this spring, April 25-28, bringing an incredible lineup of films, panels and workshops. Now in its 19th year, the Sunscreen Film Festival draws more than 5,000 attendees every year, a full weekend of movie magic taking place at The Sundial AMC 12 Theatres in downtown St. Pete. Check out the full list of events and find more details here.

This year’s festival will showcase nearly 200 feature films, documentaries, shorts and foreign films, alongside a robust lineup of workshops from industry professionals. The festival is an opportunity for attendees to mix and mingle with filmmakers, actors, writers, producers and celebrities in an open and relaxed atmosphere. Tickets range from single movie screenings to day passes and all-weekend VIP tickets, all of which are available here.

A springtime film fest in the Sunshine City

Made possible thanks to headline sponsor St. Petersburg Clearwater Film Commission, festivities kick off on Thursday, April 25 when the Sunscreen Film Festival hosts the opening night film and red carpet at The Sundial, and the opening night party at NOVA 535. At 7 pm on Thursday, the festival showcases the St. Pete premiere of the feature film “Bau, Artist at War,” including appearances from the filmmakers.

“Bau, Artist at War” is based on the true story of Joseph and Rebecca Bau, whose wedding took place in the Plaszow concentration camp during WWII, an event immortalized in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. This film is a war drama, love story, and espionage tale that needs to be told in this era where survivors are dying, and the Holocaust is slipping from memory. Using his artistic skills and his sense of humor in the camps, Joseph stays alive and helps hundreds to escape. Miraculously, he finds love in the midst of despair—a love that will last a lifetime.

A group of people at Sunscreen Film Festival
Photo by Ryan Kern for Sunscreen Film Festival

Sunscreen Film Festival showcases incredible array of productions

Nearly 40 feature films will be screened over the course of the four-day festival. For those in (or interested in) the industry, more than a dozen workshops led by pros from across the country will offer opportunities to develop skills and make connections.

There is also a ‘Chicks Making Flicks Brunch‘ on Saturday, April 27, a women’s brunch at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse featuring a panel discussion, “The Secrets of Female Filmmakers – Stories from Behind the Camera…” The brunch will also focus on the education, encouragement, and empowerment of women in the film and television industries, cultivating the best future for the next generation of women in film. The brunch is a separate ticket from other passes.

People at a film festival
Photo by Ryan Kern for Sunscreen Film Festival

Sunscreen Film Festival stands out as economic driver

The Sunscreen Film Festival, a cultural cornerstone in St. Pete, announced earlier this year that it has totaled nearly $40 million in economic impact in Pinellas County over its years drawing crowds to the area.

Nearing its 19th annual appearance, the announcement of the findings comes as the celebrated film festival continues its upswing, growing bigger and bigger with each passing year. With such a tremendous impact, the remarkable achievement highlights the festival’s role not only as a cultural beacon for the area, but also as an economic powerhouse helping to drive the region’s red-hot appeal.

Just the festival on its own – consisting of a four-day weekend of films, workshops and more – has a tourism and economic impact of close to $20 million, solely for the direct business and tourism it draws that weekend. Not only does Sunscreen enrich the cultural fabric of the region, but it also significantly bolsters the city and county’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

A St. Pete cinephile celebration for nearly 20 years

The Sunscreen Film Festival got its start in 2006 when it was hosted at Studio@620 and drew a crowd of 600. In the years since, it has become one of the country’s most celebrated productions and has expanded to include a second festival each year in Los Angeles.

Organized and presented by the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society, a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization, the annual Sunscreen Film Festival supports and enhances St. Petersburg’s economic profile by putting on an internationally recognized event to draw tourism and international media coverage to the city. The society is dedicated to educating the public about the art of visual storytelling, enhancing opportunities for filmmakers to develop their craft and art, and increasing the public’s awareness and support of filmmaking as a cultural asset.

Learn more about the Sunscreen Film Festival


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