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The Ojai Film Festival


The Ojai Film Festival is dedicated to supporting the art of the motion picture through the presentation of an annual multi-day festival in which films submitted by filmmakers throughout the world are publicly exhibited at several venues in and around the City of Ojai, California.

The Ojai Film Festival fulfills its goal of serving the art of film:

  • by providing filmmakers, many of them beginning their careers, with a supportive and enthusiastic audience for their creative efforts and giving them access to film industry professionals who offer guidance and other forms of career assistance.
  • by bringing to its audience of both local residents and visitors from all over southern California, a wide array of distinguished motion pictures otherwise inaccessible to them.

Learn more about the festival at: OjaiFilmFestival.com


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2021 Ojai Film Festival Goes LIVE!

The Ojai Film Festival will present its 22nd consecutive event celebrating independent films from around the world LIVE in Ojai, CA USA November 5-8, 2021. Last year the Film Festival’s board engaged in a sharp learning curve culminating in the creation of the 2020 Online Virtual Film Festival. Now, after months of studying the projected COVID infection rate data and intense discussions at each meeting, the board decided to plan an in–Ojai, multi-screen event for November 2021. ...

Submissions Now Open for 22nd Ojai Film Festival

The Ojai Film Festival (OFF), ranked one of the top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals on FilmFreeway, continues to grow in prestige. The festival, which begins November 4, 2021, showcases the finest new films by emerging and established filmmakers from around the world. Both the film and screenplay competitions opened to submissions March 1.   Out of the 77 films in the 2020 OFF three made it to the short list for Oscar consideration. In the previous 20 years 15 alumni received Academy Award...

Ojai Film Festival 2020 Awards

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT State Street Serenade Michael Love Honorable Mention Crowley – Cowboy Up Andre Hoermann Honorable Mention Teranga – Life in the Waiting Room Daisy Squires, Lou Marillier & Sophia Seymour BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Sapelo Nick Brandestini Honorable Mention Lost Lives Michael Hewitt & Dermot Lavery BEST NARRATIVE SHORT Feeling Through Doug Roland Honorable Mention Between a Rock and a Hard Place...

“Kiss the Ground” Ojai Drive-In Premiere

Big Picture Ranch and the Ojai Film Festival collaborate to present a drive-in premiere of the critically acclaimed documentary “Kiss the Ground.” The only in-person screening of this year’s festival, due to COVID, caps off the 21st annual event on Saturday, November 14 at Nordhoff High School. This free event is open to only 130 cars on a first come, first serve basis. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., the program begins at 6:30 p.m.. The New York Times said the movie “inspires ...

Indie Filmmaking Workshop with Michelle Danner

Making a Film on a Small Budget and Adjusting to New Circumstances Many challenges come with filming independent movies: last minute schedule conflicts with the Cast, losing locations, getting rained out, or fire … the list goes on and on. In this Indie Filmmaking seminar on Sunday, November 8 at 1 pm, Michelle Danner will tell stories about overcoming obstacles while shooting. She will address how to deal with unpredictable situations on short notice, and how to solve problems while...

“Destination Animation” Delivers Tips from the Pros

Millions of viewers worldwide relish a well done animated story. The Ojai Film Festival invites anyone who wants to learn how to develop an animated film to a “Destination Animation” seminar on Saturday, November 7 at 4 p.m.. Cathy Karol-Crowther, who teaches at Santa Monica City College in the Academy of Entertainment and Technology, will lead the seminar. This seminar uses the eleven animations in the Festival, coupled with interviews with filmmakers, to address the creative proce...

Steven Poster (ASC) Named Distinguished Artist

The Ojai Film Festival (OFF) honors former ASC President Steven Poster with the 2020 Distinguished Artist Award for Cinematography at a virtual ceremony on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m.. The preceding Saturday OFF invites anyone interested in cinematography to join Poster for a discussion of what it takes to achieve his cinematic vision. “I’m very excited the Ojai Film Festival considered me for this honor,” Poster said. “Being recognized for my body of work is the hig...

Short Film Wins Bill Paxton Award

For the first time the Ojai Film Festival (OFF) named a short film as recipient of the Bill Paxton Award. This distinction honors achievements among the filmmaking community of Ojai and Southern California. The winner, “Entwined,” written and directed by Dale Griffiths Stamos, screens as part of the Festival’s Gold Coast Series on Monday, November 9 at 7 p.m.. The 14 minute film “Entwined” tells the story of old lovers and the injustices that drove them apart. Two ...

First Film with Deaf-Blind Star Screening

“The Feel Through Experience” at the Ojai Film Festival Filmmaker Doug Roland’s life changed one morning at 4 a.m. in the East Village of New York City. He spent an hour waiting for a bus with a deaf-blind man. This, his first encounter with a deaf-blind person, stayed with him and a few years later inspired his short film “Feeling Through.” The short screens at the Ojai Film Festival (OFF) on Sunday, November 8 at 4 p.m. and Monday, November 9 at 10 a.m. as par...

21st Annual Ojai Film Festival Goes Virtual

The theme “Enriching the Human Spirit through Film” continues to guide the Ojai Film Festival. At a time when people’s spirits need uplifting more than ever before the global pandemic makes it unsafe to invite filmmakers and film lovers to come together in a physical space. To give their audience a necessary boost the Ojai Film Festival (OFF) plans to go virtual this year, November 6 through 15. With a rich history spanning twenty-one years OFF bears the distinction of the onl...

Ojai Film Festival Announces Winning Screenplay for 2020

“Immigrants,” a richly detailed story of family struggle and survival from Nazi Germany to the melting pot of New York, won Best Screenplay for the upcoming Ojai Film Festival. The honor includes a Zoom-style table read by professional actors directed by Valerie Alexander, on Sunday, November 8. The historical setting of “Immigrants” resonates in this country today as our nation continues to grapple with issues of immigration and the way we view “the other.” ...

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