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
  • I was not able to attend Ojai Film Festival, but the editor of our film "Wine, Women, & Dementia" did and had a great time at the festival, including our screening and the Q&A that followed! Communication from the fest was top notch.

    November 2023
  • Mike Pniewski

    Absolutely loved the Ojai Film Festival! Terrific city and a wonderful venue filled with great audiences. Everyone was supportive of the filmmakers and were genuinely enthusiastic about the event and their city. The staff was kind and helpful and we are soooo looking forward to coming back very soon.

    November 2023
  • Frances Chewning

    A sweet, fulfilling festival. The mission "to enrich the human spirit" shines through. The hospitality, engaged audience, beautiful environment, and wonderful programming made this festival one of my favorite festival experiences. Very grateful to have been selected to participate.

    November 2023
  • Robert Redfield

    A fun festival in a beautiful cozy small town. Organizers were over-the-top hospitable and their actions demonstrated that the filmmaker comes first. The networking with other filmmakers was very productive.

    November 2023
  • Geoffrey Prather

    Great communication, friendly atmosphere and a wonderful and well-attended screening for our film, A Mind Cannot Touch. Can't wait to submit again!

    November 2023