Now in its 18th year, the OJAI FILM FESTIVAL continues to grow in importance and prestige as one of the country’s premier destination festivals. The seven-day event has a reputation for showcasing the best new films from emerging and established filmmakers, and has helped launch a number of careers over the last decade. Since 2000, 15 alumni have received Academy Award nominations, two have won an Oscar, and numerous others have gone on to gain distribution and win prestigious awards.

The festival makes the most of its unique location, only 75 miles from Hollywood - yet comfortably removed from the typical industry hustle and bustle. With its relaxed atmosphere and breathtaking beauty, Ojai is an ideal spot for filmmakers to mingle with visiting industry guests, artistic colleagues, and distributors.

Among other perks, attending filmmakers receive free lodging and passes to the Ojai Film Festival's Awards Ceremony, where winning filmmakers are presented with several prizes, including trophies, cash awards, best-of category honors, and a Panavision camera rental package worth $60,000 USD for the Best Student Film.

The Festival's theme is “Enriching the Human Spirit Through Film,” but submissions of all types are welcome. The Festival provides audiences a diverse lineup of titles from around the world, including many groundbreaking works that would otherwise be inaccessible. At the same time, it gives filmmakers access to a highly appreciative audience of savvy and informed film fans.

Ojai's growing importance on the festival circuit is reflected in the fact that legendary Hollywood producer Peter Guber told the audience at a recent Toronto International Film Festival that "Ojai is the next Telluride." Shorts, features, comedies, dramas - all are welcome at this gem of a regional event, with real industry ties and a first-class track record for nurturing talent. For a wonderful experience for all who attend, and a launching pad for many, submit your film to the Ojai Film Festival today!

Awards & Prizes

Glass and metal trophies are awarded to the winners in every category, along with Honorable Mention Certificates.

Also, a $60,000 Camera Rental Package is provided to the winner of the Best Student Film Award.

Rules & Terms

Early Deadline: April 1, 2017
Late Deadline: June 1, 2017
Regular Deadline: May 1, 2017
Extended Deadline: July 1, 2017

Formats accepted for festival screening are as follows:

Blu-ray and streaming files in most formats

Each submission must include:
· An Online Screener.
· Completed entry form (signed and dated) for the appropriate category
· An Online payment via credit card

Please include a production still from your film or video for publication in our Festival Program if your entry is accepted. A self-addressed stamped envelope should be included with any correspondence requiring a reply.

Early deadline (April 1) entry fees: Features -- $35, Shorts -- $30

Regular deadline (May 1) entry fees: Features -- $45, Shorts -- $40

Late deadline (June 1) entry fees: Features -- $55, Shorts -- $50

Extended Deadline (July 1) entry fees: Features -- $65, Shorts -- $60

(Features are defined as films with a running time of 40 minutes or longer.)

Student-produced films receive a 40% discount in all categories!

For student-produced work, a copy of a current student ID, or evidence of work being completed while entrant was a student, must be included with the application.

Awards will be given in the following categories: Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Film, Best Student Film, Film Best Exemplifying The Festival Theme and The Audience Award.

The festival jurors may also award an unspecified number of Honorable Mentions at their discretion

Trophies, plaques and/or certificates will be presented to the winners.

Also, a $60,000 Camera Rental Package is provided to the winner of the Best Student Film Award.

Public screening prints of entries selected for exhibition must be shipped pre-paid and in a suitable container, with insurance the responsibility of the entrant.

Exhibition prints selected for screening at the Festival will be returned at no charge to the entrant. Return shipments will be insured for $100. Other arrangements may be negotiated if necessary.

I state that I am authorized to submit this film/video to the Ojai Film Festival for consideration and have read, understand and agree to all entry requirements. I hereby release the Festival from all liability resulting from its exhibition of my film/video. I agree that if the Ojai Film Festival accepts my film for exhibition at the Festival, I will make it available for that purpose without requiring the payment of a screening fee.

6 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Dominic Oliver

    I have to say that Ojai was a fantastic festival experience. The organizers are hands-on, filmmaker-centric, conscientious about watching every submission and carefully selecting those that represent the festival's dedication to quality, theme and its mission. The resulting program reflected that care and enthusiasm. Every volunteer in every capacity was warm and welcoming to us and each filmmaker we met. We had a great time--and the town is terrific too!

    July 2017
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    Lance Dumais

    Top notch. You could not ask for a more beautiful and inviting community to screen your film. Very organized and just a pleasure from start to finish. I'll definitely be submitting again.

    January 2017
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    Rain Perry

    It was an honor to be included in the 2016 Ojai Film Festival! Everyone was lovely and enthusiastic. The student outreach is a wonderful program as well.

    November 2016
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    Erica Fae

    sweetest ever! huge thanks for supporting the film!!!

    November 2016
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    Mary-Lyn Chambers

    I had a wonderful time. The best part was that our screening was so full they had to bring in more chairs. It was hands down the most attended screening we have had during our festival run. They also provided a local to host and accommodate me for two nights. This made the experience much richer. The town has many charms and is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. Kind staff. Smart people. Great audience questions and they love and support their festival. Strong programming too! We were thrilled to win an Honorable Mention in our category. I had a hunch this festival would be a goodie. I highly recommend it to those who relish non-industry festivals and enjoy connecting with their audience. Brava!

    November 2016