Origin Story | Et Cultura



This multi-day, immersive event is on a mission to spotlight the creative and innovative culture coursing through our streets and bring the world to St. Pete to inspire, collaborate, and discover!

Our goals are:
To foster conversations with audiences, our community and contributing artists while supporting emerging artists and providing an environment for learning through film, music, art, and interactive sessions.

To create a signature event that will encourage new avenues for innovative thinking, new collaborations and unique experiences – to make an indelible mark in the minds of all who come to see what Et Cultura and St. Petersburg are all about.


Et Cultura grew from the idea and the drive of our Founders. These individuals saw a future in the concept of Et Cultura and helped us make what we IMAGINED into a REALITY.

Joel Malizia, President / Director of Interactive and Music
Joel Malizia is one of the original co-creators of Et Cultura, serving as the President and Director of Interactive and Music since 2016. As co-founder of Pilot Moon Films, Joel has spent the past several years building a successful full service video production company that specializes in music festivals, music videos, television commercials and branding videos that work across the country.

With Pilot Moon Films, Joel has created video commercials with Keep Saint Petersburg Local and Safety Harbor Song Fest in recent years and has gained invaluable experience over the past three years as videographers/documentarians employed by SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival.

Joel brings a unique perspective to our team with his love of film making/storytelling, music and personal experience with large scale multi-faceted events.

Dave Allison, EVP / Director of Content and Pro Media Team
David Allison is one of the original co-creators of Et Cultura, serving as the EVP and Director of Content and Pro Media Team since 2016. A veteran filmmaker and graphic designer, David has worked on numerous projects including feature films and motion design work for the World Cup.

David has been in video and film production since 2000. He is a co-founder of Pilot Moon Films, a production company specializing in music videos, commercials, and marketing and mini-documentary videos for companies and organizations. He is also co-founder of Creative Bundle, a graphic design firm focusing on motion graphics for television and LED billboards.

David studied film and television at the University of North Texas before he went on to pursue film editing studies in Los Angeles, where he worked as assistant editor on several independent films.

David approaches every project as a talented storyteller, not just a videographer. He seeks the most natural way to convey the message in an emotional, cinematic style to bring the story to life.

Lea Umberger, EVP / Director of Film and Art
Lea Umberger is one of the original co-creators of Et Cultura, serving as the EVP and Director of Film and Art since 2016.

Lea was the Managing Art Director at HSN for the past 6 years and has also maintained a Design Business for Film and Stage ( Lea Umberger Designs) of over 15 years. She received her MFA in Design for Stage and Film at NYU and has designed for film and theater all over the United States, but she has always had a home grown love for all things Florida after spending her formative years growing up in the St. Pete/Clearwater area.

She brings her extensive design and project management background to every project and can not wait to start collaborating with the City of St. Petersburg, filmmakers, musicians, artists and makers to help build Et Cultura and deliver a nationally recognized festival to the Sunshine City.

Colin Lyman, Co-Creator Et Cultura
Colin Lyman was the co-creator behind the original production concept of Et Cultura in 2016. He was responsible for the establishment of the film, multi-media art, makers, and music element of the festival.

Read more about Colin

Jim Aresty, Director of Possibilities
The year was 2013 and little did Jim Aresty know that his visit to a sunny city on the bay would be the beginning of a love affair with the city that he now calls his winter home, Saint Petersburg. All it took was a few long strolls through the vibrant streets, seeing people enjoying the beautiful weather and a remarkable feeling that anyone he passed would be willing to sit down for a meaningful conversation to get him hooked! Four years later, that love for the local culture, art, food, weather and people is stronger than ever and at every turn, Jim is looking to become more involved in the progress and growth that is in motion here.

Jim’s passion for timely topics, technology that improves the human experience, innovative solutions, big ideas and, well…new “experiences” is the driver behind his quest for engagement within the community. He is excited to participate in the continued efforts to elevate St. Pete’s intellectual and cultural revolution and finding significant ways to connect and include our entire community in the process. He is an incredibly kind man that rewards bravery with even greater acts of bravery.

Festival Founding Sponsors

Et Cultura grew from the idea and the drive of our founders and only could have been possible through the support of all the founding sponsors that joined us in our premiere year.

These companies & community members saw a future in the concept of Et Cultura and helped us make what we IMAGINED into a REALITY.