Film commissioner Tony Armer resigns • St Pete Catalyst

Tony Armer, St. Petersburg/Clearwater’s film curator since 2014, is leaving for a new job in Texas.

Under Armer’s leadership, St. Petersburg Clearwater was named one of the 25 Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker by MovieMaker Magazine in 2021 and 2022.

In January, he will become commissioner of the Dallas Film & Creative Industries Office, a division of Visit Dallas. “I wasn’t looking to leave,” Armer said in a prepared statement. “When this opportunity presented itself, I had to listen. To be able to take on the role of film commissioner in the 4th largest metropolitan area in the United States, in a state with a state film incentive, in one of the most iconic cities in America, was too good to be left out.

Florida is one of the few states in the country that does not offer incentives, in the form of tax breaks or cost reductions, to major movie studios. This is why very few big budget films are shot here.

For filmmakers on a tight budget, however, the Tampa Bay area is a major photography draw. Armer has worked with Hallmark Channel to bring numerous productions to Pinellas County, as well as independent film companies, digital studios, and commercial production houses.

In collaboration with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, Armer presented the tourism-focused Amazon Prime series The rewards of life in the region for two seasons.

In 2005, Armer co-founded the St. Petersburg Solar Film Festival, voted one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the Country” by MovieMaker.

He is also a co-founder of Film USA, a national non-profit organization and the first national association of United States film commissions in the country.

About Debra D. Johnson

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