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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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Best Screenplay Award-Winner

After a close race in the final round judges selected “School Story” by Singaporean writer Jit Fong Oon to receive the Best Screenplay award at the 22nd Annual Ojai Film Festival.

The script revolves around teen rebel Kai who joins the school production of “Romeo and Juliet” in order to cozy up to his romantic target Ana. He gets embroiled in her attempt to launch a clandestine gay-themed version of the play despite opposition from the conservative school authorities. One tragic choice leads to disastrous consequences and Kai must decide whether to risk his education and his future on a chance at redemption.

Jit Fong Oon, born and raised in Singapore, writes factual and narrative content for Singapore television. Inspired by his son Ted, he created a kids detective drama series titled “June,” centering on a brilliant, courageous tween who doesn’t let her hearing impairment stand in her way. “School Story” is his first feature screenplay.

The Best Screenplay honor includes a recorded table read performed by professional actors and this year directed by Frieda De Lackner. Screenwriting fans are welcome to the table read screening on Sunday, November 7 at 4 PM in the Ojai Art Center Raymund Room.

Frieda de Lackner is a director/producer/actor/writer for both film and theater. She co-produced the feature, “Hold On,” released in theaters December 2019. Her short films, “By Chance” and “Meeting Matt Damon,” screened across the country. She is a company member of Playground LA, where she directed over 30 staged readings. She worked on several immersive theater projects; most notably, with Downtown Repertory Theater and We Players. For over ten years she assisted with Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs, directing their Northern California touring productions of “Secrets and Peace Signs,” and before that, acting in three of the touring productions. Her mission is to create art with a positive impact.

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