Tony Armer, co-founder of the Sunscreen Film Festival, was recently hired to lead the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Commission — a job made more difficult in recent years when state funding dried up.
Armer, 44, replaces Jennifer Parramore, who retired in April after nearly 21 years as head of the film commission, a division of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Convention & Visitors Bureau.
He inherits the job at a difficult time for attracting film and video productions anywhere in Florida, with the state's tax incentives program currently without funding. Armer said he'll focus on attracting digital media, web-based productions less expensive to produce than movies and TV shows.
"Some stuff can still happen without incentives but you have to be creative," Armer said Monday. "(Digital media is) not the future; it's the now."
Armer said the Sunscreen festival he co-founded in 2006, a showcase and training ground for shoestring filmmakers, will continue operating without his direct leadership.
— Steve Persall, Times movie critic