Jose Sotolongo named 2023 Film Florida Legends Tourism Ambassador
Image via Film Florida.

Jose Sotolongo Film Florida
'Film and television can bring viewers, visitors and potential new residents to Florida. Miami would not be what it is today without Miami Vice.'

Film Florida has named Jose Sotolongo is 2023 Film Florida Legends Tourism Ambassador. Sotolongo is the former Director for sports and entertainment tourism for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB).

The award honors legends in the entertainment industry that are true ambassadors for Florida. Sotolongo received his recognition during the 2023 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Orlando. Film Florida President Sandy Lighterman presented the award.

“During his time with the GMCVB, Jose was a tireless supporter of the screen industry, contributing to attract(ing) some of South Florida’s biggest film, television and commercial productions,” 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.”

Sotolongo worked in the Miami-Dade sports industry for more than 30 years, including stints with the Miami Marlins, Miami Dolphins, the University of Miami and Florida International University, where he served his alma mater as interim director of athletics.

For the past decade-plus, he worked in tandem with the Miami-Dade Office of Film and Entertainment to attract motion picture production, television shows and commercials to South Florida.

During his tenure with the GMCVB, Sotolongo worked with the Miami Sports Commission to attract and retain multiple Super Bowls, College Football National Championships, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and World Baseball Classic, Formula 1, The Miami Open, NASCAR, Miami Marathon and countless other events that bring more than $1 billion annually to Miami-Dade County.

Most recently, Sotolongo 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,” 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.”

Film Florida first began honoring “Legends” in the entertainment industry in 2006. The award recognizes people who 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.

Film Florida is the chief marketing and advocating organization for the state’s television, film and digital media industry. Its mission is to unite, inspire and innovate to build a more robust and retentive industry in Florida.

Watch Sotolongo’s acceptance speech here.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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