Learn about Because of Sam
In 1990 the United States created the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law intended to help protect the rights of people with disabilities. However, the disabled are often marginalized, bullied and overlooked. Parents with disabled children must fiercely lobby school systems, advocate for intervention services and invest extraordinary amounts of time in helping their kids succeed and feel accepted. Sadly, acceptance does not always happen at home, much less in society.
Tampa native, Sam Piazza was born with Down syndrome. The love and support of his family, church and an inclusive school culture helped him accomplish extraordinary things. His positive attitude and desire to achieve more than was expected of him makes Sam an inspiration for people with disabilities, and, ALL people.
I am convinced that most people possess more power to achieve their dreams than they realize. Finding a caring mentor, helpful resources and a supportive network are keys to helping those facing obstacles find hope. I use my time and talents to inspire people to claim their power and capture their dreams. Creating a clear colorful vision is a critical step in a dreamer’s journey. “Because of Sam” will inspire people to dream big, paint a wonderful vision and to take action towards it.
“Because of Sam” will show the world that being different can be difficult. It will also depict how the conflicts, triumphs, and epiphanies that occur throughout the life of a disabled young man can serve as catalysts for positive change in the lives of those who cross his path. Learn more about Sam’s story by clicking here.
Learn About Renee Warmack, MPA
Producer | Director | Writer
Tampa native and filmmaker Renee Warmack grew up in a blue-collar family and is the youngest of three girls. At an early age, she knew that earning an athletic scholarship was the only way she could afford college. She excelled as a four-sport, high school athlete and played NCAA Division I tennis at the University of South Florida (USF) on a sports scholarship. Warmack earned her BA degree in Creative Writing and a Master’s degree in Public Administration at USF.
In 2019, she produced, directed and wrote Because of Sam that chronicles the inspirational journey of Sam Piazza, a young man with Down syndrome who won Homecoming King and is an advocate for people with disabilities. The movie is transforming how the world views people with disabilities.
In 2008, she produced, directed and wrote “A Community with a Dream: The Founding of the Children’s Board” (CBHC) a documentary that commemorates the 20th anniversary of a special taxing district in Tampa dedicated to helping kids succeed. The film describes the touching, grassroots effort that led to the creation of the CBHC. The movie premiered on government television and was widely embraced by the community.
Warmack’s first film, “Ten at the Top in Tampa Bay”, chronicles the careers of top female government leaders and shares how they broke the glass ceiling. She produced, directed and wrote the documentary to celebrate an unprecedented time in Tampa history where 10 women-led (at the same time) government institutions, traditionally headed up by men. The movie premiered on PBS in 2007, aired on government channels, was featured in film festivals, and is used as a teaching tool.
Warmack retired from a 20-year government career where she worked in children’s services, public relations and program administration. Her calling is to help others claim their power and capture their dreams. She considers her inspirational movies, engaging events and impactful coaching program as game-changers that help empower dreamers.