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  • Working With The Best

  • Honoring The Best Films

  • Supported By The Stars

  • Gain Exposure With Us

  • Inspire The World

  • Become Timeless

  • Teaching Film Production

  • Come Meet Your Film Idols

  • Make An Impression

  • Professional Film Workshops

  • Honoring Films Since 2005

  • Showing Us Some Love

  • Rewarding The Best Films

  • Bringing Out The Stars

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Film Institute

Sunscreen’s Film Institute at Indie Studios (1776 11th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33713) offers college-level classes designed to provide unique educational opportunities. Instructors are established college educators and working professionals in the film industry. Additionally, guest instructors with a high level of talent and name recognition are part of the program.

Tuition and fees can be paid online below We also accept checks for tuition and fees made out to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Film Society mailed to or paid in person at Indie Studios. For more information, call 727-259-8417 or e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Classes last eight weeks. The next session will start at the beginning of March. Please scroll down to learn about our instructors.

2015 Classes & Schedule (coming soon)


Instructor Bios


Buddy Winsett

Winsett has 35 years of experience in television, music, movies, and satellite communications. He has been the director of production and engineering for national television networks, and has won national awards, including a Presidential commission. Owner and founder of Chameleon FilmWorks, as well as Indie Studios, Winsett has been an integral part of the Florida film industry. A passionate teacher, he strives to pass on a lifetime of knowledge to upcoming filmmakers, and he continues to support and outfit the Florida independent-film movement with top-flight service, gear, and studio facilities.


Tyler Martinolich

An MFA graduate from the Savannah College of Art & Design, Martinolich has more than 12 years of producing experience, handling projects with budgets ranging from $200,000 to $5 million. He has worked as a production manager or line producer on commercials for clients such as Coke, Publix, the Florida Lottery, PBS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Government. He also has produced or worked as a production manager on feature films such as “The Glass Window” (2011) and “Sunlight Jr.” (2013), starring Matt Dillon and Naomi Watts.

Martinolich is also an avid writer. He received the Hollins Book Award for excellence in creative writing and was named a Florida writing scholar, which paid a full undergraduate scholarship. He also has received substantial artistic and academic fellowships through the Savannah College of Art & Design.



Tony Armer

Armer is the St. Petersburg Clearwater Film Commissioner, and an award-winning filmmaker who has worked in the television and film industry since 1997. His experience includes Hollywood features, documentaries, independent features, television films, and music videos. His projects include the 2014 documentary “Running with Demons.” He is the co-founder and executive director of the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Fla., one of only 23 film festivals nationwide to be sponsored in 2013-2014 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Armer studied communications at the University of Toledo and graduated magna cum laude with a abachelor's degree in business management from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. He is finishing an MFA in motion pictures and television from Academy of Art University, San Francisco. He also is an adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Tampa and the University of Tampa.



Tom Hammond

Hammond has more than 20 years of experience writing, editing, and polishing feature-length screenplays. He is a produced screenwriter who graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in English literature and from Columbia College Hollywood with a bachelor's degree in film, cinema and video studies. He also has a master's degree in xcreenwriting from the American Film Institute. He teaches at the University of Tampa and Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.



Curtis Graham

Graham is an academy-award-winning director and cinematographer. His work has appeared in many national publications such as Town & Country, Esquire, Print, and Communication Arts.

Graham began his career in advertising, where he served as a director or camera operator on commercials. He went on to attend the American Film Institute, where he received the Mary Pickford Award Scholarship. His master's thesis film, “The Blue Men” (1990), starring Estelle Parsons, received several awards, including the Focus Award for cinematography.

In addition to his advertising work, Graham has worked as a cinematographer or director on narrative and feature pieces such as “The Glass Window” (2011), “Prime of Your Life” (2010), “Misconceptions” (2008) and the PBS documentary “John & Mable Ringling.”

He is an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa, and he continues to direct and shoot films and commercials under his production company, Greyhouse Films

A Sample of a Few Past Workshops and Class Details:

Actors Workshops

Taught over 4 days by: Patrick Wilson, Ethan Suplee, Bill Cobbs, Alexa Vega, Ayanna Berkshire, and Solomon Trimble.


Creating a Killer Movie Comic

Leo Partible (Comic Author, Producer) Comics & Film: The World of Transmedia Storytelling
Even though Superman: The Movie and the first Batman film were blockbusters, comic books and graphic novels during that era were still considered a fad. We'll explore the phenomenon of the comic book film, the influence of the comic book on filmmakers, the diversity of genres in the medium, and their importance in the global market and the new world of Transmedia storytelling.


Indie Film Producing Workshop 101

Making Your Own Dynamite; A Cautionary Cookbook for the Indie Filmmaker. Sean Covel (Producer, Napoleon Dynamite)Doc Wyatt (Producer, Napoleon Dynamite)

In this class the producers of Napoleon Dynamite will examine the independent film marketplace to determine what types of films are best suited to be made independent of the studio system.


Master Screenwriting Workshop

Dean Batali (Producer, Head Writer, That 70’s Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) 

Dean Batali will lead a "writer's table" as he evaluates (and offers suggestions for improvement on) the work of a few short, pre-selected writing samples written by writers who choose to attend this workshop. 


The Business of Blockbusters

The Secrets of Producing $100 Million+ Movies

with Producer Ralph Winter (Producer, X-men 1-3, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Star Trek 2-4)

Join legendary producer Ralph Winter as he reveals the challenges, frustrations, and successes of producing movies in the $100 million and higher range


Producing a Hit TV Show

Dean Batali (Producer, Head Writer, That 70’s Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

The executive producer of "That 70s Show" will share everything that goes into producing a weekly series - from story development to script-writing and various stages of production.


Indie Film Producing Workshop 201 Making Your Own Dynamite; A Cautionary Cookbook for the Indie Filmmaker. Sean Covel (Producer, Napoleon Dynamite)Doc Wyatt (Producer, Napoleon Dynamite)

In the second class, the producers of Napoleon Dynamite will focus on finding financing for an independent film.  This class will cover the complete process of identifying equity financiers, structuring the deal with investors, creating the pitch, selling the concept, structuring a company and strategizing the ROI.


The Role of a Producer in the 21st Century

Ralph Winter (Producer, X-men 1-3, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Star Trek 2-4) Phil Cooke (Author, Filmmaker, Media Consultant)

In a chaotic time of media disruption, how has the role of "Producer" changed?  Movie producer Ralph Winter and television producer Phil Cooke will share their insights on creating compelling content - for whatever medium - in today's media-driven culture.


Storyboards: Learning to tell a Visual Story

Leo Partible (Comic Author, Producer)

Storyboards were primarily used in animation during the Golden Age of Hollywood. We'll explore the various uses of storyboards, their relationship to graphic novels, their use in creating interest with studios.


Is Your Career Stuck in Development or Breaking Box Office Records?

Stop Hitting the Wall, and Start Building a Real Career in Entertainment 

Phil Cooke (Author, Filmmaker, Media Consultant)

Whether you're new to the industry or a long-time veteran, discover the 10 key principles that build a long term career.  Find out why these key concepts are the critical difference that keep so many gifted and talented people from achieving their long term dream.


Music for Your Film

Creating a soundtrack and acquiring music for your film.

Michael Tolcher, Composer, musician (Scrubs, One Tree Hill, ESPN)


You Produced a Movie, So What's Next?

The Power of Distribution:  Finding the Right Audience

Ralph Winter (Producer, X-men 1-3, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Star Trek 2-4)

Phil Cooke (Author, Filmmaker, Media Consultant)


Actor’s Workshop.

Teacher – Michael Roberts

An acting workshop on the craft of creating and sustaining believable characters.

Faith and Film Panel

Panelists – Steve Taylor, et al

This panel explores what impact filmmakers’ personal faith has on the way they operate on set and within the film industry in general.

How to Get a Sales Agent & Sell Your Film

Panelist - Marty Poole

An in-depth look into the business side of independent film sales - how to find a good sales agent or distributor for your project.  Discussion topics will include sales, marketing, production, post-production, and deliver requirements necessary for a completed independent film.

John Jackson Acting workshop

Learn from John Jackson,  the casting director of the Oscar-nominated movie, The Descendants, how to quickly develop a character for an audition, deliver it with confidence and beat out the competition to land that big role!

Screenwriting Story Origins: Rules of the Game

Teacher -David Paterson       

Screenwriter Paterson (BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA).  Whether you are developing an original story, adapting from a book or play, there are rules and choices to make. discusses these topics, as well as the process optioning books, plays, and the difference between adapting and interpreting original source material.

Building Your Film Audience & Making Money,

Connected TV & Beyond         

Panelists- Peter Contardo & Jason Anderson

Endavo Media Moderator Tim Gibbons - http://syndicatetheplanet.com

Move over Big Screen. There’s a new screen in town. Actually, lots of screens – of all sizes. These days, audiences watch movies and shows everywhere from Smart TVs in St. Pete to tablets in Tampa, and connected devices all across the planet. Navigating the digital video world of Google TV, Roku, Apple TV, Boxee, and the latest Internet-enabled TVs, plus all the telco/cable content services can be challenging. Come learn how digital distribution platforms and screens, branding and new media marketing offer film producers and distributors additional paths to building audience and making money.


How to Make a Film for Under 10K and Get Distribution

Panelist – Robert Enriquez

The new secret to survival in Hollywood is minimizing your costs and maximizing your assets. In this revolutionary new workshop, veteran producer, Robert Enriquez, will take you behind the curtain and explain the ins and outs of making a sellable film for very little capital.                              

How to Get a Hollywood Talent Agent

Panelist – Michael Greenwald

Renowned agent Michael Greenwald is the Vice President of Talent at   Buchwald - Fortitude, a position he has held for 15 years.  Greenwald worked early on with Ben Affleck, Adrien Brody, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Scarlett Johansson.


Greenwald is credited for having discovered stars such as Hilary Duff ( “Lizzie McGuire”), Josh Duhamel (“Transformers”), Shannon Sossoman (“A Knights Tale’), Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek”), Austin Nichols (“The Day After Tomorrow”) and Josh Gad (“Book of Mormon”). He developed Laura Bell Bundy from the age of 15 until she received a Tony Award nomination on Broadway for her role of “Elle Woods” in Legally Blonde.

Social Media, Publicity and Branding

Panelists – Anthony Francis,  Amber Osbourne of Head of Lettuce Media.

Teen & Kids acting workshop

Lauran Irion

Lauran will be sharing her experiences as a teen and child actor to teach other young actors about acting and breaking into the business.