23rd annual Ojai Film Festival returns as hybrid

(Girls of the Sea screening at Ojai)

Early November is a busy month in Los Angeles for film festivals. The Ojai Film Festival returns November 3-20, 2022 for its 23rd year with both in-person and virtual events, celebrating the works of filmmakers from around the world.

The official festival schedule includes 84 selected films (varying from features, shorts, documentaries, and animated films), over a dozen seminars, panels, and receptions with filmmakers, live music from local artists, and the Awards Brunch. 

For the second year in a row, the festival will run in hybrid form, screening all films in person from November 4-7 at the Ojai Art Center, and virtually from November 8-20 via the Eventive.org festival hosting platform, doubling last year’s length of virtually available stream times. 

This year’s festival features an expanded selection of conversations with filmmakers and creatives that delve deeper into the world of film, production and post-production, from the Emmy-nominated director and producer team, Michael Milano and Noémie Dumont  (137 ShotsOjai Burning) to VFX Specialist, Bill Mather (Star Trek: GenerationsMen in Black and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), and more. This year’s World Music in Film seminar, designed to raise awareness of the many world cultures that are presented to us through a variety of mediums, will focus on the music in film tracks.  

Two Lifetime Achievement Awards, now known as Distinguished Artist Awards, will be presented to audio engineer Paul Massey (Moonage Daydream, Deadpool007: No Time to Die) and actress Jacqueline Bisset (Loren and Rose, La Ceremonie, The Deep).  For the second year in a row, there will also be two dynamic Diversity in Film panels, and a special Diversity Film Award, sponsored by Panavision.  All awards and trophies will be presented at the Awards Brunch on Sunday, November 6, to which all are invited.

“We are very excited about our hybrid festival schedule this year, including 84 wonderful films from around the world, and a full slate of interactive panels and workshops, followed by 13 days of On Demand streaming availability of this year’s films and recorded events,” shares Ojai Film Festival Director, Richard Sven Shelgren. “Something for everyone!”

Still from Mano de Obra, screening as part of the festival’s Gold Coast block.

Still from Narrative Feature film The Apple Day.

Still from Narrative Short Eger, 1552.

Still from Narrative Short Nights and Days in America.

Still from Documentary Feature Ricochet.

Still from Documentary Short Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope

Still from Animated film Les Chaussures De Louis.

FranEvelyn Ervin, winner of the 2022 Ojai Film Festival Screenplay Competition

Travis Greer, winner of the 2022 Bill Paxton Award


The Schedule

The Ojai Film Festival program consists of the following schedule: 

November 4-7 in person, and 8-20 streaming On Demand

Screening 84 films in person at the Ojai Art Center from Nov 4-7, and then from Nov 8-20 streaming virtually via Eventive.org.

November 3rd Opening Night 

6:30 PM Free Opening Night screening of Spirited Away (2001 Japanese animated feature) introduced by Jim Keeshen – Libbey Bowl 

Jim Keeshen is an animator, storyman, director, producer, and educator. He started his career by animating on Hanna Barbera series: Capt Caveman, Yogi and Friends, and Super Seven.

In 1997 Keeshen was asked by Santa Monica College to start their Entertainment Technology Program by writing the curriculum and hiring teachers for the 2D/3D courses. Keeshen has produced 3 animated awarded shorts: Monkey Love, The Day of the Dead, and Surfer Joe, and is currently producing a series, Dangerworld, as well as a short film, Inca Mythology, and a feature Day of the Dead: Poncho’s Awakening.

Friday, November 4

10 AM AC Theater  Exit, Pursued by a BearTilework — 15 min, The Apple Day —89 min

10 AM AC Gallery Nights and Days in America – 11 min, New Moon – 11 min, Girls of the Sea– 88 min

10 AM AC Raymund Room Matte Painting: Invisible Movie Magic with Bill Mather

Bill Mather is a VFX artist known for his work on notable films like Star Trek: Generations (1994), Men in Black(1997) and the Special Editions of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), among others. 

1 PM AC Theater Bad Seeds – 6 min, Mate – 33 min, Gabi: Between Ages 8 and 13 – 71 min1 PM AC GalleryDemi’s Panic – 10 min, Foreign Uncle – 20 min, Being Michelle – 80 min

1 PM AC Raymund Room Heroes of Comedy: Creating Unique Characters from Universal Archetypes, with Gunnar Rohrbacher’s Actors Comedy Studio

2:30 PM AC Raymund Room How To Write Great TV & Film Comedy, with Gunnar Rohrbacher’s Actors Comedy Studio

4 PM AC Theater Abuela Dalad – 10 min, Daughter of the Sea – 19 min, Children of Las Brisas – 82 min

4 PM AC Gallery The Mask in Our Hands – 13 min, Without Water – 20 min, Ricochet – 76 min

4 PM AC Raymund Room Using YouTube to Establish Your Voice as a Filmmaker with Joel Marshall, Celeste Tauchar

7 PM AC Theater Wei-Lai – 14 min, Hotter Up Close – 14 min, Loren & Rose – 82 min

7 PM AC Gallery Of Wood – 7 min, Belle River – 11 min, 12 Months – 93 min

7 PM AC Raymund Room World Music in Film Panel

9 PM AC Courtyard Opening Reception with live music by Zoe Smith

Saturday, November 5

10 AM AC Theater The Owl and the Pussycat – 4 min, When You Leave – 16 min,  UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality – 90 min

10 AM AC Gallery The Blame Game – 13 min, Ousmane – 26 min, Jack Has a Plan – 73 min

10 AM AC Raymund Room Art, Activism & the ERA w/ Kamala LopezJyoti SardaKate ConnorSusan Kelejian

1 PM AC Theater Swimming Through – 15 min, de closin night – 20 min, If you are a Man 74 min

1 PM AC Gallery El Carrito – 15 min, Artist Unknown – 30 min, When We Dance – 30 min, Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope – 37 min

1 PM AC Raymund Room Cinematographer’s Seminar w/ Steven Poster, moderated by “American Cinematographer” Magazine Manager & Editor Andrew Fish.

Steven Poster is an American cinematographer and photographer who is the former President of the International Cinematographers Guild best known for films like Donnie Darko (2001), Amityville: The Awakening (2017) and Someone to Watch Over Me (1987).

4 PM AC Theater Spokespeople – 24 min, Kinderland – 33 min, Breaking Point– 59 min

4 PM AC Gallery Eger, 1552 – 17 min, The MetallDetektor – 32 min, Do I Need This – 61 min

4 PM AC Raymund Room Matte Painting: Invisible Movie Magic w/ Bill Mather

7 PM AC Theater Pour Games – 4 min, Milk – 5 min, Loren & Rose – 101 min

7 PM AC Gallery Barking Orders – 2 min, Radical Joy – 12 min, Bobcat Moretti – 96 min

7 PM AC Raymund Room Michael Milano and Noémie Dumont, with HBO’s the making of Burning Ojai: Our Fire Story, with panelists from the film and the Ojai community

9 PM AC Courtyard Festival Party with live music by Christian Greer

Sunday, November 6

10 AM AC Courtyard Brunch, 11 AM Ojai Film Festival Award Presentation

1 PM AC Theater  Rough Magic: Exit Shakespeare – 38 min, North Star – 30 min, Dani’s Twins – 39 min

1 PM AC Gallery Dress A Cow – 10 min, Powers – 24 min, Belle Vie – 77 min

1 PM AC Raymund Room Diversity Panels featuring panel host and moderator: Rosa CostanzaChelsea StardustMackenzie MunroTamika Lamison and award-winning filmmaker and television director A. Laura James.

4 PM AC Theater Split Ends – 14 min, The Ugly Truth – 96 min

4 PM AC Gallery Elvis of Laos – 11 min, Manufactured Luck – 15 min, Out and About– 83 min

4 PM AC Raymund Room Winning Screenplay Table Read Screening  

Introducing screenwriter FranEvelyn Ervin and a table read of her Pride and Prudence, directed by Frieda de Lackner, a sharp-witted comedy of manners that comes from the Jane Austin cinematic universe.

This winning screenplay will be performed by professional actors and director in a recorded Zoom table read, allowing our festival audience to experience and honor the as-yet-unproduced screenplay.

7 PM AC Theater  Glazing – 2 min, Mind Thief – 109 min

7 PM AC Gallery I’m A Pebble – 7 min, Matilda and the Spare Head – 13 min, Beans – 90 min

7 PM AC Raymund Room How to Market Your Film with Colleen O’Mara from PR Agency, Hype

9 PM AC Courtyard Festival Party with live music by SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION

Monday, November 7

10 AM AC Theater Discussion of the making of Netflix’s Emmy-Nominated “137 Shots,” with director and producer team Michael Milano and Noémie Dumont

10 AM AC Gallery The Revolution Generation, with Josh and/or Rebecca Tickell

1 PM AC Theater Gold Coast Block #1: Stairway to the Stars – 25 min, The Octopus – 18 min, Aamal – 86 min

1 PM AC Gallery  The Ballad of Gustavo Arellano – 10 min, What Remains Between Us – 15 min, The Adventures of Saul Bellow – 86 min

4 PM AC Theater Gold Coast Block #2: The Little Fox of Limuw – 13 min, Mano De Obra – 21 min,  Mariposas del Campo – 86 min

4 PM AC Gallery Cosmic Cooking – 3 min, Memento Mori – 9 min, Bella – 98 min

7 PM AC Theater Gold Coast Block #3:  Sound of Music Behind the Scenes – 14 mi, I Love Every Part – 3 min, Ms. Rossi 2 : Ms. Rossi Takes The Cake – 18 min, Time Capsule – 88 min

7 PM AC Gallery  Les Chaussures de Louis – 5 min, Loose Change: A Memoir of Childhood – 8 min, Night Forest – 96 min