Film Florida announced that it has contributed to the Robert Parente Film Student Memorial Scholarship in honor of the late City of Miami Film Commissioner who passed away in July. Besides his official work for the city, Robert was known in his Miami community for constantly giving his time and photography skills to many non-profit organizations. He dedicated many years of his career to promoting and advocating specifically for the film industry in Florida. More notably, thanks to his efforts, the City of Miami provided the Coconut Grove Expo Center to the TV series Burn Notice at a significantly discounted rate and allowed them to convert it into usable production space. This created an added local incentive, guaranteeing them a set to stay filming in Florida for seven seasons, with an economic impact of approximately $20 million per season.
“Robert was one of the strongest advocates for the film and television industry, setting an example for film commissioners throughout the state,” commented Kelly Paige, President of Film Florida. “Film Florida is honored to contribute to this scholarship fund in Robert’s name and continue the legacy that Robert leaves behind for the next generation of Florida film and television professionals.”
Parente made regular visits to area schools to talk about careers in film and television and his constant push for filmmakers to allow set visits for many of the students in Miami-Dade County. He was a mentor to many young filmmakers, always encouraging and providing support in any way he could, including seeking donations to pay for new equipment for the film and TV programs in the area high schools. To carry on his spirit and dedication, his family, friends and former colleagues have set up a scholarship in his memory for film students. The Miami-Dade College Foundation will manage the scholarship in his name.
“Robert was instrumental in putting South Florida on the map for film and television,” noted Graham Winick, Miami Beach Film and Event Production Manager. “Without his participation, some of the biggest and best projects that filmed in South Florida over the last decade, particularly Burn Notice and Marley and Me, might have never come.”
To make a donation to the Robert Parente Film Student Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit http://parentefilminterns.com/.
About Film Florida: Film Florida is a not-for-profit entertainment production association that serves a leadership role in Florida’s film, TV, production and digital media industry by representing all aspects of the business including film commissions, industry, labor, associations and education. The growing membership driven organization provides a network, a platform, and the benefits of playing an active part in solidifying Florida’s position as a major production destination, positive economic development driver and tourism generator. For more information about Film Florida visit www.FilmFlorida.org.