Hollywood infiltrates Tampa Bay on July 6
June 29, 2016 by Kevin Wiatrowski
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TAMPA (June 30, 2016) – Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission join forces on July 6 to co-hosts of an invitation-only screening of “The Infiltrator,” a major motion filmed in Tampa and based on Tampa author Robert Mazur’s 2009 memoir about going deep undercover in the money laundering operations of then-Colombia drug lord Pablo Escobar. Mazur’s investigation ultimately brought down the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, at the time among the largest private banks in the world.
The historic Tampa Theatre, an ornate 1926 movie palace located in downtown Tampa, will host the premiere with “The Infiltrator.” Stars Bryan Cranston and Benjamin Bratt and director Brad Furman will walk the red carpet at 5:15 p.m.
“’The Infiltrator’ has been a work in progress for our staff for several years,” said Dale Gordon, executive director of the Tampa Hillsborough Film & Digital Media Commission. “I couldn’t be more proud to share our beloved Tampa on the big screen with the world. And from a business standpoint, this film will showcase the depth and variety of locations Tampa has to offer filmmakers scouting for unique sites.”
On July 7, Visit Tampa Bay will host a media tour of Tampa locations that played a prominent role in the story of Mazur’s investigation and BCCI’s fall. That list includes downtown’s former federal courthouse (now the Le Méridien Tampa hotel), the former BCCI offices (now the Aloft Tampa Downtown hotel), and The Columbia restaurant in Ybor City. Reporters will also get to meet some of the key players in the court proceedings set in motion by Mazur’s investigation.
The film, produced by Broad Green Pictures, has its world premiere in New York July 11. It hits theaters nationwide on July 13.
“We are excited to join the film commission in hosting the first screening of this major motion picture,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “Tampa Bay’s unique mix of history and locations is making it a magnet for film and television shoots like ‘The Infiltrator’ and Ben Affleck’s upcoming ‘Live by Night’ that help us tell our story to the world.”
“The Infiltrator” is based on the true story of Tampa resident Robert Mazur, a U.S. Customs investigator, who infiltrated the Escobar’s Medellín drug cartel in 1986 posing as money-laundering businessman Bob Musella. Ultimately, Mazur’s work led to the indictment of more than 100 drug lords and the collapse of BCCI, the global banking enterprise that laundered their money.
“The Infiltrator” in 2015 was filmed at more than 20 locations around Tampa, including the Franklin Exchange building and the Tampa Theatre downtown, Cephas’ Hot Shot in Ybor City, Port Tampa Bay, and the Derby Lane greyhound track in Sulphur Springs. Parts of the movie were also shot in South Tampa’s Parkland Estates neighborhood, home to notorious mobster Santo Trafficante. Filming included five night shoots and three large stunt sequences.
“The Infiltrator” is Tampa’s biggest movie role since John Travolta and Thomas Jane filmed “The Punisher” here in 2003. That film included parts of Ybor City and downtown’s Rivergate Tower.
“The Infiltrator” film was inspired by Mazur’s 2009 memoir, “The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel,” published by Little, Brown. The book has been released in paperback.
About Visit Tampa Bay
Visit Tampa Bay encourages adventurous travelers to unlock our destination’s trove of unique treasures. We are a not-for-profit corporation that works with more than 750 partners to tell the world the story of our home – the hip, urban heart of the Gulf Coast of Florida.