The Sunscreen Film Festival was live and in person for both the 2020 and 2021 festivals. It will be live again for 2022. For a full breakdown of safety protocols visit amctheatres.com/amc-safe-and-clean.

Sunscreen is known for its friendly atmosphere in a sun-kissed waterfront setting in the arts-centric city of St. Petersburg, FL. For 16 years the festival has screened top notch indie films, provided our filmmakers quality workshops and panels packed with Hollywood talent, hosted great parties and has been the top film festival in the St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Florida area.

The Sunscreen Film Festival was one of 23 festivals sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the Oscars) in 2013-2014, named one of the top 25 “coolest’ film festivals by MovieMaker Magazine and Best Film Festival in the Tampa Bay Area by Tampa Bay Magazine.

The Sunscreen Film Festival is organized and presented by the Sunscreen Film Society., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to education, economic development, informing the public about the art of visual storytelling, enhancing opportunities for local filmmakers to develop their craft and art, and increasing the public’s awareness and support of local filmmaking as a cultural and economic asset.

The Sunscreen Film Festival has grown from its first festival in a local art gallery in 2006 to an internationally recognized event in St. Petersburg, FL and Los Angeles, CA. The festival has come to be known for its commitment to diversity (in 2020 50% of films were by women); for taking chances on creative, edgy films; and for being a filmmakers film festival. Celebrating diversity is a core value of the city and the festival seeks each year to showcase that value.

One aspect that makes Sunscreen unique is our celebrities and special guests take part in workshops, classes, or other events that supports the festival’s mission. Everyone that attends Sunscreen is accessible and easy to interact with. Many filmmakers love the collegial atmosphere during the festival and appreciate the chance to learn from one another. Sunscreen provides around a dozen workshops during the festival each year.

Our goal is to encourage the creation, production, and exhibition of creative, independent film in Florida through our educational programs and public screenings, thereby increasing awareness and support of local filmmaking as a cultural and economic asset.

Sunscreen presents juried awards in the following categories:

Best Short Film
Best Florida Film (short or Feature)
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Web series Short
Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Foreign Language Film (Feature or Short)
Best Animated Film Short
Best High School Student Short
Best College Student Short
Best Director (Feature)
The Dale Pople Best Sci Fi Film Award
The Dave Barrett Cinematography Award

1. Productions may be created in any format, but all entries for pre-screening must be in a digital file.
2. Productions must be entered by the primary rights holder or their authorized representative. If you are acting on the behalf of the rights holder of the film, you may be required to furnish proof of authorization.
3. All entries must be in English, dubbed in English or contain on-screen English subtitles. Non-English entries submitted without dubbing or on-screen English subtitles will be automatically disqualified.
4. Entries must be be submitted by deadline dates.
5. Works-in-progress may be accepted for consideration, provided a completed version will be available by March 15, 2022.
6. We do not require, but STRONGLY RECOMMEND providing an "all audiences" trailer (downloadable) for your film in online format. This will greatly increase your chances of being included in all social media promotions for the Festival and social media is what this festival relies upon for advertising and promotion.
7. For each accepted entry, the Sunscreen Film Festival will allocate up to four (4) filmmaker passes to all festival events. A representative of your film must pick up all passes at check-in.
8. Based upon availability, Sunscreen will arrange discounts at hotels for filmmakers traveling to the Festival. This is provided on a first come, first serve basis.

TERMS:

1. Only complete entries (including entry, payment, and media file) will be processed and considered for screening.
2. Films must have been created no earlier than 2019.
3. Films promoting or advertising products or services for "for profit" companies (excluding music videos) will not be given consideration.
4. Entrants will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance into the fest by March 4, 2022.
5. Entrant stipulates that they control all rights to the submission and that public exhibition is authorized during the 2022 Sunscreen Film Festival if the film is accepted to the Festival.
6. If selected, entrant agrees to provide a copy of the film in an approved format for public exhibition no later than March 25, 2021.
7. If the Entrant wishes to decline acceptance to the Sunscreen Film Festival, it must be provided in writing no later than March 11, 2021.
8. There are no refunds of submission fees.
9. If your film is selected for screening, entrants will be required to fill out a festival acceptance form. The form link will be emailed to the contact person listed in FilmFreeway for all accepted films.
10. Participants agree that all materials related to their film (including excerpts of the film) may be published for any promotional purpose related to the Sunscreen Film Festival, including the Festival Program, Festival Web Site, and any local or national media. Posters and images of the film may be used independently or in combination with images from other films to promote the film and the Sunscreen Film Festival.
11. Productions must be entered by the primary rights holder or their authorized representative. If you are acting on the behalf of the rights holder of the film, you may be required to furnish proof of authorization. Films already steaming or available for purchase, films that have aired on a broadcast, cable or VOD platform for wide viewing by a general audience will not be accepted.
12. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Sunscreen Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • If you don't know, now you know. #unstoppableawesomeness!

    July 2021
  • Pierre-André Le Leuch

    A very good and serious film festival organized by kind people with a great taste for film art. I warmly recommend it !

    May 2021
  • Joseph Mazzella

    Great festival, wonderfully executed! Proud to have had my short film "SNAPS" screen with you all! I hope to attend in the future.

    May 2021
  • Overall good festival - especially with it being the one of the first in-person festivals in the last year! Communication is excellent so I have 5 stars for that. Honestly I was disappointed by the filmmaker experience compared to other festivals (given those were pre-pandemic). During the Documentary Shorts Q&A with the directors, the moderator was on his phone and disinterested with the group. If it was just me it wouldn't matter as much, but I talked to other filmmakers who had similar experiences of disinterest. It was a culmination of tiny acts like that that kept the rating at a 3 stars. However, Tony Armer the founder of the festival was awesome! Tony, Ben, and Doug were all very authentic, kind, and supportive so if I could bump the rating to a 3.5 stars it would be because of them! Improvements for next year: scheduling workshops with less overlap of film screenings, get a volunteer or hire an experienced event host and a Q&A moderator, add filmmaker camaraderie events like a breakfast (just a dedicated place/time not an all paid for type of deal), coffee, etc. so to encourage more engagement/networking. Proud to have screened "Women of the West Bank" at Sunscreen Film Festival nonetheless and am grateful for all of the work y'all put into the festival this year!

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Brooke, we are always striving to improve and do better throughout the year and each and every year. We love having you here, we hope you make another film to come back next year. We did cut the budget quite a bit this year due to the obvious reasons of 2020, loss of sponsorship dollars, etc. We typically do have more networking events and a breakfast but we’re just things that didn’t come to fruition this year. We’d love to have you back and thanks again for being so awesome and having a great film the screen at the festivalkThank you Brooke, we are always striving to improve and do better throughout the year and each and every year. We love having you here, we hope you make another film to come back next year. We did cut the budget quite a bit this year due to the obvious reasons of 2020, loss of sponsorship dollars, etc. We typically do have more networking events and breakfast but we’re just things that didn’t come to fruition this year. We’d love to have you back and thanks again for being so awesome and having a great film the screen at the festival.

  • Chris White

    Sunscreen Film festival — what a discovery!

    This really was an incredible festival: packed screenings, elegant events, GREAT workshops and panels, excellent communication, and WHAT A TOWN! Tony and the team at Sunscreen made us feel like the most important film at the fest...while also making other filmmakers feel just a special. Quite a trick!

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Chris! We loved having Electric Jesus as the opening night film. Quite a crowd pleaser. We can’t wait to have you back for your next one!