This weekend offers a unique opportunity for Tampa Bay residents, filmmakers and movie goers alike. The India International Film Festival presented by the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce is happening January 22-24 at Channelside Cinemas. Click here for a complete schedule of events, including a panel - When Art Meets Business, Filmmaking and Finance in the Global Market  - moderated by yours truly. It'll be riveting, trust me.

The USF University Lecture Series and the University Film & Video Association at the USF welcomes filmmaker Brett Ratner on Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Marshall Student Center Ballroom, USF Tampa Campus (overflow room, The MSC Oval Theatre). Aside from being one of the luckiest guys in Hollywood, he's also a Florida boy. You can learn more about Brett here.

Finally, I'm pleased to tell you that House Bill 697 - Entertainment Industry Economic Development bill was filed today by Representative Stephen Precourt in the Florida House. You can follow this bill's progress and read the details of the legislation by clicking here. I would urge everyone with a vested interest in the Tampa Bay film community and the Florida film community to reach out to your legislators and relay  how important an increased incentive is to the continued success of the film, TV and digital media industry here in Florida.

Stay tuned for more news from the Tampa Bay film community.