The Ojai Film Festival has announced the official festival selections and schedule for its 22nd annual event, Nov. 4-14 in Ojai. Some 300 films were submitted to the 2021 festival, and the selection team has chosen 74 features, shorts, documentaries, and animated films from 22 countries, which will play both in the Ojai Art Center and virtually via the Eventive.org festival hosting platform.
For the first time, the festival has added a YouTube Award for Best Content Creator. The category this year is focused on YouTube travel channels.
Also new this year is a mini-festival within the umbrella of the full festival that reflects the theme Enriching the Human Spirit Through Film. The focus will explore the breadth and scope of diversity and the intersectionality of social activities addressing contemporary problems.
“Every year for the past decade, we’ve noticed that the overall quality of the films submitted to the festival has been continually increasing, and even with COVID still raging around the world, I believe that this year’s crop of submissions is the best yet,” said Steve Grumette, Ojai Film Festival artistic director.
Festival highlights include:
Nov. 5-14 — Screening 78 Films in person at the Ojai Art Center and virtually via ojaifilmfestival.org.
Thursday, Nov. 4: Opening Night — Free screening of animated movie “Up!” at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl, featuring the voice of the late Ed Asner, a former Ojai Film Festival Distinguished Artist award winner.
Friday, Nov. 5 — Opening Night Reception at Ojai Art Center with presentation of the inaugural YouTube Creator Award
Saturday Nov. 6 — 4 p.m. Diversity Program
Sunday Nov. 7 — 10 a.m. Awards Brunch;
4 p.m. Screenplay Live Read. The winning screenplay will be performed by professional actors and director in a live Zoom table read, allowing festival audience to experience and honor the as-yet-unproduced screenplay.
7 p.m. Q&A with journalist Ivor Davis. Davis will talk with Ventura County director and filmmaker John Zilles about “I Was There,” a documentary about Davis’ life. Davis had a front-row seat for some iconic moments such as watching Elvis meet the Beatles; being on the bus when Ronald Reagan found out he was president; and seeing the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Monday Nov 8 — 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Gold Coast Films will celebrate Southern California films and filmmakers
“This internationally recognized independent film festival presents opinions and perspectives from all over the world. Viewers will laugh, cry, smolder and chuckle as they are presented with globally influenced commentary on today’s problems and concerns,” said festival president Jon Lambert.
For tickets, visit https://ojaifilmfestival.com/2021-tickets/. More information is at www.ojaifilmfestival.com. The festival will add in-person seminars and events planned for the final weekend of the festival, Nov 12-14.