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New Executive Director in place for 8th Ojai Film Festival

Looking to grow its exceptional profile and build on its reputation for excellence, one of Southern California’s film festival gems has just added a new executive director.

Laurie Kirby is now directing the Ojai Film Festival and fostering its mission of “Enriching the Human Spirit Through Film.” Kirby, former Executive Director of the Newport International Film Festival, has switched coasts as she readies the Ojai Film Festival for this year’s event October 4-7, 2007.

The 2007 Ojai Film festival will feature: Julie Christie serving as a curator for films of topical interest; the honoring of world renowned cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond; and the west coast premiere of Numb with the film’s Matthew Perry and Mary Steenburgen in attendance.

“I am honored and delighted to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful organization,” says Kirby, a former attorney turned film festival professional. “Ojai is a very special and unique community. This extraordinary Board of Directors has supported and nurtured the Ojai Film Festival for the past 7 years and now has charged me with continuing its growth to reflect the Board and the community's values through the magic of film.”

Kirby brings a wealth of film festival experience and successes to Ojai. As the Executive Director of the Newport International Film Festival (2003-2007), she guided it toward becoming one of the top regional festivals in the US. As a result of her stewardship, cinema fans now flock to Newport from all along the East Coast.


The Ojai Film Festival provides filmmakers and film enthusiasts with a breathtaking, relaxing and friendly environment to enjoy groundbreaking independent works and low key interaction. Only about 70 miles northwest of Hollywood, the idyllic town of Ojai features world-renowned spas and golfing in a small town setting.

Featuring documentaries, narrative features and shorts, this year’s festival highlights include: Lifetime achievement award for world-renowned cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of The Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, The Black Dahlia); $10,000 prize for the best documentary; Filmmaking seminars with top industry icons; and events honoring the work of Julie Christie.

For more information about the Ojai Film Festival visit www.ojaifilmfestival.com

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