Jose Sotolongo, former Director, Sports & Entertainment Tourism for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has been named the 2023 Film Florida Legends Tourism Ambassador. The award, presented by entertainment production association Film Florida, honors those legends in the entertainment industry that are true ambassadors for Florida. Jose Sotolongo was honored during the 2023 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Orlando and presented the award by Film Florida president, Sandy Lighterman.

“During his time with the GMCVB, Jose was a tireless supporter of the screen industry, contributing to attract some of South Florida’s biggest film, television and commercial productions,” Film Florida President Sandy Lighterman said. “Jose’s commitment to bringing high impact events to South Florida, not just in sports but also in screen production, makes him a Film Florida Legend. Whether it was traveling to sales missions, hosting FAM tours, ensuring productions felt welcome when they came to South Florida, or any number of other things Jose did for our industry, he understood the economic impact of bringing in high-wage jobs, film tourism, and massive spending in local communities and he showed unlimited support.”

Jose Sotolongo worked in the sports industry in Miami-Dade County for more than thirty years, including tenures with the Miami Marlins, Miami Dolphins, University of Miami, and Florida International University, his alma mater where he served as Interim Director of Athletics. For the last decade plus, he worked side-by-side with the Miami-Dade Office of Film and Entertainment to attract the production of motion pictures, television shows and commercials to South Florida. During his tenure with the GMCVB, Jose worked with the Miami Sports Commission to attract and retain multiple Superbowl’s, College Football Playoff National Championships, Major League Baseball All-Star Game and World Baseball Classic, Formula 1, The Miami Open, NASCAR, Miami Marathon and countless other events that bring in more than a billion dollars annually to Miami-Dade County. Most recently, Jose led the Miami FIFA World Cup 2026 bid, which led to Miami being chosen as one of 16 host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

“When you’re passionate about what you do it makes a big difference because it comes from the heart, Florida will always be my home and I will always be an ambassador,” Jose Sotolongo said. “Film and television can bring viewers, visitors and potential new residents to Florida. Miami would not be what it is today without Miami Vice. The film and television industry helped transform South Florida, I was honored to be part of that. I want to thank Film Florida for their steadfast support of the industry, which has a bright future.”

In 2006, Film Florida started honoring “Legends” in the entertainment industry. The award recognizes people that have achieved great success in the entertainment industry while also being steadfast ambassadors for the state of Florida. Recent recipients of the award include Burt Reynolds, Sharon Gless, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Vanilla Ice and Burt Wolf.

Click HERE to watch Jose Sotolongo’s acceptance speech.
Click HERE to watch Sandy Lighterman’s introduction.

About Film Florida: Film Florida is the chief marketing and advocating organization for Florida’s for TV, Film, and Digital Media Industry. The mission is to unite, inspire and innovate to build a more robust and retentive industry in Florida. Film Florida represents all aspects of the screen industry 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 entertainment production destination, positive economic development driver and tourism generator. For more information about Film Florida visit

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Sandy Lighterman, President,, 954-439-1289
John Lux, Executive Director,, 407-494-6195