Now in its 24th year, the OJAI FILM FESTIVAL continues to grow in importance and prestige as one of the country’s premier destination festivals. The 10-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 two decades. 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, 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 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!

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.

Early Deadline: March 1, 2023
Late Deadline: May 1, 2023
Regular Deadline: April 1, 2023
Extended Deadline: June 1, 2023

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

Any film completed after November 1, 2019 is eligible for submission.

Please include one or more production stills from your film for publication in our Festival Program. We will need these ASAP if your entry is accepted.

If you are a filmmaker currently residing in Iran, we have a special program just for you! If you are interested in learning more about this program, please send an email to:

Atefeh Rahmani

and she will promptly respond with full details.

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

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

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

Extended Deadline (June 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.

Overall Rating
  • Wonderful. Great festival, great town, great people!

    June 2023
  • Joseph Sacks

    Beautiful film festival. A great honor to be included in the 2022 Festival. Very welcoming, inclusive, and really gave the filmmakers an opportunity to present. Must submit here!

    March 2023
  • Andy Wolk

    It was a joy to go to Ojai with my film ROUGH MAGIC: EXIT SHAKESJPEARE. The setting, the hospitality, the care they took with every aspect of being there and showing the film was first-rate and I could not have asked for more. The audience was so vibrant and alive and into complex films it made it a pure pleasure to be there.
    Andy Wolk

    December 2022
  • Nick Waters

    Great people and great festival! Thank you for having me!

    November 2022
  • While unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the festival, I want to thank the organizers for the honor of the Best Animated Short Film award, and for their quick and friendly communication.

    November 2022