The event, which raised funds for the Sunscreen Film Festival, began with a catered dessert reception that included New York-style cheesecake pops, red velvet cupcakes, dark and white chocolate fountains and more. These treats were prepared by the Fort Harrison’s gold-medal winning chefs.
Lisa Mansell, the Community Affairs Director for the Church of Scientology welcomed the audience, saying “Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard once wrote that “A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists,” and hopefully this event can make some dreams come true for independent film makers.”
Tony Armer, the Executive Director of the Sunscreen Film Festival then enlightened the attendees on the film festival and its purpose.
The Sunscreen Film Festival is a non-profit program of the St. Petersburg Clearwater Film Society and has encouraged the production of independent films in Florida since 2005. The specific objective of the Sunscreen Film Festival is to promote the exhibition of works by filmmakers by conducting education programs that teach the art and science of acting, filmmaking and cinematography.
Due to the increasing public awareness of this cause and gaining support of local filmmaking as a cultural and economic asset for the State of Florida, attendance of the actual festival in St. Petersburg, Florida has gone from 600 in 2005 to 11,000 just last April, which is their highest ever.
This was followed by stellar performances of Broadway hits by local talents: Trevor Botkin, Tom Godfrey, Jessy Leros, Colleen Lindsay, Elena Marrero, Helen Pinder, Julieta Santagostino, Joanie Sigal, L.D. Sledge, Daria Tiana, the Clearwater Academy International Choir and the Guilfoil Ballet Dance Troupe.
These performers sang and danced to hits from CABARET, CHICAGO, GUYS & DOLLS, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, RENT, WICKED and GREASE. The “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago was a definite favorite.
Nearly $2500 was raised for the festival, and will be used to bring industry professionals in to participate in the educational seminars during the festival.
If you would like to find out how you can contribute to next year’s 2012 Sunscreen Film Festival and to the St. Petersburg Clearwater Film Society go to www.sunscreenfilmfestival.com.