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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.

2014 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 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 2011 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 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.



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