Film commissioner Tony Armer resigning
Tony Armer, the St. Petersburg/Clearwater film commissioner since 2014, is leaving for a new job in Texas.
Under Armer’s watch, St. Petersburg Clearwater was named one of the Top 25 Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker by MovieMaker Magazine in 2021 and 2022.
In January, he’ll 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 over as the Film Commissioner in the 4th largest metro area in the United States, in a state with a state film incentive, in one of America’s most iconic cities, was too good to pass up.”
Florida is one of the few states in the country that does not offer incentives, in the form of tax breaks or cost rebates, to major film studios. This is why very few big-budget movies are made here.
For filmmakers with smaller budgets, however, the Tampa Bay area is a major photographic lure. Armer worked with the Hallmark Channel to bring numerous productions to Pinellas County, along with independent film companies, digital studios and commercial production houses.
Working with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, Armer brought the tourism-focused Amazon Prime series Life’s Rewards to the area for two seasons.
In 2005, Armer co-founded St. Petersburg’s Sunscreen Film Festival, voted one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the Country” by MovieMaker.
He is also the co-founder of Film USA, a national nonprofit organization and the first National Association of United States Film Commissions in the country.