FILM | By Steve Grumette
Ojai Film Festival opens Thursday with Ten days
of Films, Workshops, Celebrities & More
Read what artistic director Steve Grumette sees at the top film entries
(Ojai, CA – October 29, 2018) The Ojai Film Festival open its 19th season with a host of outstanding films in competition and submission from 33 countries. This year the festival received over 450 entries. Artistic Director Steve Grumette has viewed thousands of films since the festival’s inception and, along with an outstanding panel of judges, selects the best for final competition. Trailers of the entries are available at OjaiFilmFestival.com
“There has been a striking and very gratifying increase in the overall quality of submissions since the festival began in the year 2000,” said Grumette. “Although this is doubtless due in part to the increasing availability of high-quality, low-cost digital filmmaking equipment, we believe it is largely the result of our steadily growing prestige on the international film festival circuit.
Here are Steve’s choices this year that audiences should consider seeing:
Love & Bananas is about elephant rescues in Thailand which are rare, unpredictable, and often life threatening. Fiddlin is a journey to Galax, Virginia for the Old Fiddler’s Convention. Dirt Rich invites viewers to discover how geo-therapy, in which carbon is reintroduced into the soil, can literally reverse runaway global warming. Angkor Awakens: An Inside Look at Cambodia is a powerful documentary about Cambodia’s tangled and painful past and its struggle to redefine itself on the world stage. August in Berlin is about a chance meeting between a German man and a Canadian woman in a Berlin café causes their carefully constructed lives to unravel. The Root of Happiness focus on a man and a woman troubled by family issues meet at a nightclub. Witness is about an illegal immigrant working at a Chinese restaurant to support his pregnant wife. Dear Basketball is Kobe Bryant’s ode to the sport that made him a legend. The film won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
Some of the outstanding foreign entries include:
Octav from Romania the story of a man who returns to his family home after decades of absence. The Silence is a French film about a ten-year-old immigrant boy who encounters a wounded man writhing in agony. Abu Adnan: Adnan’s Father is a Danish film about a refugee doctor from Syria, has just received a Danish residence permit and is about to start a new life in the country with his son, Adnan. My Enemy’s Brother is also a Danish film that is considered one of the 10 best Danish films in circulation right now. Traces from Luxembourg tells the story of Julie who discovers after her mother’s death that the man who raised her is not her biological father.
“I want to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude,” said Grumette, “to our Festival Jurors, the members of our Screening Panel and the hundreds of festival volunteers whose tireless work over the past two decades has made an indispensable contribution to the evolution of our festival from a local arts event into a cultural institution of international stature.
The Ojai Film Festival runs November 1-11 with screenings at the Ojai Art Center and Chaparral Auditorium. There will be special events, award banquet, educational workshops and seminars and more. To learn about the entire schedule of films and events and to purchase tickets, visit: OjaiFilmFestival.com.