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The Ojai Film Festival

The Ojai Film Festival is dedicated to supporting the art of the motion picture through the presentation of an annual multi-day festival in which films submitted by filmmakers throughout the world are publicly exhibited at several venues in and around the City of Ojai, California.

The Ojai Film Festival fulfills its goal of serving the art of film:

  • by providing filmmakers, many of them beginning their careers, with a supportive and enthusiastic audience for their creative efforts and giving them access to film industry professionals who offer guidance and other forms of career assistance.
  • by bringing to its audience of both local residents and visitors from all over southern California, a wide array of distinguished motion pictures otherwise inaccessible to them.

Learn more about the festival at:


Screenplay Winner Drops Out of the Jane Austen Cinematic Universe

Judges for the Seventh Annual Ojai Film Festival Screenplay Competition recently selected this year’s winner. “Very little separated the top choices from the rest of the semifinalists this year,” Bruce Novotny, the competition’s director, said. “The competition was tight and our judges made a difficult choice.” A sharp-witted comedy of manners titled “Pride and Prudence” came out of the Jane Austen Cinematic Universe by way of writer Fran Evelyn Ervin.

When asked about her screenplay Ervin said, “When her long-time unrequited love Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to London society with his new bride Lizzie Bennett, wealthy socialite Prudence Priestly decides it’s up to her to prove his new wife is not worthy of him.” High jinks ensue, and the screenwriter’s combination of modern snark, classic characterization, and dialogue make the script an entertaining read.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Ervin received her MFA from Florida State University’s Conservatory for Film and Television Production. Her distinctions include Project Greenlight Finalist, Creative Screenwriting CS Open Winner, Southeast Playwright recipient, and alumni of the Terra Firma Emerging Writer’s Program. “Absolute Original,” her viral short, won accolades at the Cannes Lion Festival, and millions have viewed “Paradox,” the feature film she wrote and directed.

The winning screenwriter not only receives a trophy, but also a Zoom table read of their entry. Frieda de Lackner will direct this year’s table read. She is best known for “Hold On” (2019), “Hello, My Name Is Doris” (2015) and “By Chance” (2014). OFF will screen the Zoom table read on Sunday, November 6. Last year’s Zoom table read is available on the OFF YouTube channel.

Competition judges include Michael Ewing who’s worked in production since 1990, Patty Reed who serves as a Vice President at Roserock Films where she oversees development and production, and Valerie Levett who worked at Warner Bros for thirty-three years.