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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: OjaiFilmFestival.com


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Short Film Wins Bill Paxton Award

For the first time the Ojai Film Festival (OFF) named a short film as recipient of the Bill Paxton Award. This distinction honors achievements among the filmmaking community of Ojai and Southern California. The winner, “Entwined,” written and directed by Dale Griffiths Stamos, screens as part of the Festival’s Gold Coast Series on Monday, November 9 at 7 p.m..

The 14 minute film “Entwined” tells the story of old lovers and the injustices that drove them apart. Two people in their sixties, Joe who’s black and Lisa who’s white, find themselves in front of the same painting at a museum. In high school, almost fifty years ago, they loved each other, until racist bullies tore them apart.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Stamos said. “I greatly admire Bill Paxton as an actor. He exhibits such subtlety and range in his acting. My film, ‘Entwined’ was truly a passion project for me, as both a writer and director. The subject of interracial love destroyed by racism is obviously relevant today. I was privileged to work with actors, Michael Dorn [“Worf” in the “Star Trek” TV series and films], and Suzanne Ford, as well as Dennis Renard and Kayla Fields, who played their younger selves. All four had amazing chemistry and were a joy to work with. I also had an exceptional collaborative relationship with my talented cinematographer and editor, Sean Blodgett."

OFF established the award in 2019 to honor the work and community involvement of the late actor and filmmaker Bill Paxton. While building an impressive legacy in Hollywood Paxton also devoted much passion toward nurturing the filmmaking community in the Ojai Valley.

Judges selected the award-winning “Entwined” from among 12 films in the series. “The film’s quiet lyricism brings to the surface unspoken regrets these characters carry in their hearts,” Bruce Novotny Director of OFF’s Gold Coast Series, said. “And the peace the years brought that somehow lives alongside and even eclipses those regrets. It’s a very human story, beautifully directed and performed.”

Stamos screened at a previous Ojai Film Festival and twice earned honors in the screenplay competition. Stamos wrote and co-produced, or produced, six short films, three of which she also directed. Her films have become official selections at multiple film festivals including Palm Springs ShortFest, Newport Beach, Dances with Films, Sedona, San Luis Obispo, and Breckenridge. She received two Audience Awards and two Jury Awards, and three Awards of Excellence from Best Shorts Competition.

Bill Paxton’s, actor James Paxton, will presented the award to Stamos during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m..

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