The Sunscreen Film Festival is organized and presented by the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society Inc., 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 with 600 attendees in 2006 to an internationally recognized event with an annual attendance of over 20,000 in St. Petersburg, FL and Los Angeles, CA.

In 2013 the festival expanded to Los Angeles and now holds the Florida version in the spring and the Los Angeles version in the fall each year.

The star-studded Sunscreen Film Festival has featured celebrity guests, producers, directors and more. Like; John Travolta, Ron Perlman, Kelly Preston, Patrick Warburton, Gary Busey, Joe Morton, Billy Dee Williams, Ed Asner, Patrick Wilson, Michael Rooker, Joe Panotoliano, Robert Davi, Daphne Zuniga, Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, Phil Cooke, Ralph Winter, Chris Wyatt, Sean Covel, Esai Morales, Dean Batali, Stephen DeSouza, Nancy Cartwright and many more!

In 2013-2014, Sunscreen Film Festival was one of only 23 film festivals in the country to be sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. We've also been named one of the Top 25 Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine.

Sunscreen’s workshops are consistently some of the best in the festival world. Year after year, top Hollywood talent is brought in to share their knowledge and network with you, the filmmaker. From the Producers of X-Men and Napoleon Dynamite to the screenwriters of Die Hard and That 70’s Show, to major distributors, to big name actors, our guests all participate in teaching workshops and panels for you!

Sunscreen has also welcomed distribution and acquisitions executives from companies including Showtime, Lionsgate, and Indican Pictures to our Film Market, hosted each year. Don't miss out on getting your film distributed in 2018!

Our goal is to encourage the creation, production, and exhibition of 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
Best Documentary (short or feature)
Best Webseries
Best Feature Film
Best Foreign Language Film (short or feature)
Best Animated Film (short or feature)
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Supporting Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Student Film
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Audience award
Lifetime Achievement 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 postmarked by the deadline date.
5. Works-in-progress may be accepted for consideration, provided a completed version will be available by April 7, 2018.
6. We do not require, but STRONGLY RECOMMEND providing an "all audiences" trailer for your film in online format. This will greatly increase your chances of being included in potential television promotions for the Festival.
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 lodging or discounts at hotels for filmmakers traveling to the Festival. This is dependent on budget and is provided on a first come, first serve basis.
9. The Sunscreen Film Festival makes every effort to exhibit submitted films in the best possible quality. We only accept digital files for exhibition(except feature films if they choose to send a DVD or Blu-Ray but not required). High-res .mov files under 5 GB in NTSC format. Any technical questions can be directed to


1. Only complete entries (including entry, payment, and media file) will be processed and considered for screening.
2. Entrant's name, address, FilmFreeway tracking number, and the production's title must be on each disc or case.
3. All entries must be accompanied by the synopsis of the production's content (online on FilmFreeway).
4. Films promoting or advertising products or services for "for profit" companies (excluding music videos) will not be given consideration.
5. Entrants will be notified of acceptance into the program by or about March 7, 2018. Sunscreen Film Festival does not guarantee notification for entries that are not accepted for the Festival.
6. Entrant stipulates that they control all rights to the submission and that public exhibition is authorized during the 2018 Sunscreen Film Festival if the film is accepted to the Festival.
7. If selected, entrant agrees to provide a copy of the film in an approved format for public exhibition no later than April 7, 2018.
8. Exhibition copies of subtitled films MUST include "burn-in" subtitles. "Player generated" subtitles are not acceptable.
9. If the Entrant wishes to decline acceptance to the Sunscreen Film Festival, it must be provided in writing no later than April 7, 2018.
10. There are no refunds of submission fees.
11. If your film is selected for screening, entrants will be required to immediately supply a press kit for promotional purposes consisting of A) an approved story synopsis of less than 150 words B) at least one photograph of a scene in the film for our Program Guide and C) a brief statement about the film from a key member of the creative team. These materials should be provided digitally with artwork or photos in a minimum resolution of 300 DPI. We do not require but appreciate any additional publicity material that is available (posters, postcards, etc.) and a complete credit list. These materials cannot be returned.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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
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    Romina Schwedler

    Loved the fest! What a great selection of films! Thrilled and honored to have had our film screen in such great company, and the parties, workshops and panels were awesome! Hope to be back soon :)

    June 2017
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    Niv Klainer

    Absolutely not to be missed. One of the best festivals out there.

    May 2017
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    Brian Yang

    Sunscreen rocks! If you don't know about the film scene down in St. Pete's, you aren't paying attention. Great people, resources, and weather down in the Gulf!

    May 2017
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    Stefanie Davis

    This festival keeps growing and growing! Thanks for showing our film, "Ransom!"

    May 2017
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    Tanner Cusumano

    Really great festival! Staff was really on the ball and very organized. Events were super fun! Would definitely return. Thanks Sunscreen for an amazing festival!!

    May 2017