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Sunscreen Film Festival returns with celebrity talks, reduced capacity seating

You can mingle with filmmakers, actors, writers and producers, though crowd capacity is reduced.
Celebrities and fans turned out by the dozens at the Palladium in St. Petersburg for the Sunscreen Film Festival in 2017. Kirstie Alley was among the actors who attended the event.
Celebrities and fans turned out by the dozens at the Palladium in St. Petersburg for the Sunscreen Film Festival in 2017. Kirstie Alley was among the actors who attended the event. [ Times (2017) ]
Published Apr. 20
Updated Apr. 21

The Sunscreen Film Festival, a celebration of independent filmmakers, returns to St. Petersburg’s Sundial AMC Theaters April 29 through May 2.

Once again, attendees can mix and mingle with filmmakers, actors, writers, producers and celebrities. However, COVID-19 will restrict this year’s festival to 50 percent capacity.

“Theaters and seating will be spaced out, well spaced between people, and the capacity is limited to 50 percent to ensure social distancing,” said Ben Daniele, festival programmer. “We also have a festival staff member at the entry of each theater and screening block to help regulate and ensure safety protocols are being enforced.”

The lineup of guest speakers for the 16th annual festival includes Joe Belcastro (writer-director-producer), Michael E. Brown (writer-producer-director), Rachel Cameron (location sound mixer) and Caree Davis (producer-director), to name a few.

The 2021 festival includes workshops and panels on such topics as how to land jobs in Hollywood, how to maximize movie budgets and how to obtain film financing.

“We hope that (guests) take away the connections and the huge opportunities that present themselves,” Daniele said. “Actors meeting directors, producers meeting investors, writers meeting fellow writers; the opportunities for networking and immediately plugging into the Hollywood of the South are huge.”

Guests are invited to dress up for photos on the red carpet, which starts at 6:30 p.m. April 29, before the opening night screening of Electric Jesus (107 min.) at 7:15. The coming-of-age music comedy follows the adventures of a young Christian rock band’s search for fame.

Other films include:

  • Dogwood (10 a.m. April 30)
  • Angel by Thursday (noon April 30)
  • The Song of the Sea (2:15 p.m. April 30)
  • The Turn of the Screw (3:30 p.m. April 30)
  • Nowhere (8 p.m. April 30)
  • The Cave (8:30 p.m. April 30)
  • Bone Cage (noon May 1)
  • The Cove (noon May 1 and 2:45 p.m. May 2)
  • Marcus (2:15 p.m. May 1)
  • Straw Man (3 p.m. May 1)
  • Filtered (4:20 p.m. May 1 and 5:30 p.m. May 2)
  • In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand (6:30 p.m. May 1)
  • Polar Spin (11 a.m. May 2)
  • Electric Jesus (11 a.m. May 2)

All films are screened at the Sundial AMC Theaters, 151 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $10 for individual films, $50 full-day pass and $150 all-inclusive VIP.

Find out what films and filmmakers win top prizes at the 16th annual Sunscreen Awards ceremony and party at 9 p.m. May 1 at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. NE. A minimum of a $50 day pass is required to attend.

Masks and social distancing are required at all events.

For movie descriptions and a schedule of workshops and guest speakers, go to sched.com, click on “find an event” and search “Sunscreen.”