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ABC Africa to Screen for Ojai Film Festival Preview

Special screening highlights Festival's mission to promote understanding and cultural awareness through film. (October 05, 2001)
The Ojai Film Festival will hold a special preview screening on Saturday, October 13th at 4:30 PM of Abbas Kiarostami's full-length documentary "ABC Africa."

Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who was voted the most important film director of the 1990s by a group of American film critics, has made numerous acclaimed fictional films and documentaries that center on the plight of children.

With a UN invitation, Kiarostami traveled to Uganda to shoot this stunning film about the children left orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. It has been described as "The international cinema's most keenly anticipated documentary of 2001" and the Ojai Festival screening represents its west coast U.S. premiere.

"ABC Africa" is a film without borders and was hailed at the Cannes Film Festival as one of Kiarostami's greatest, most accessible works. Kiarostami may just be beginning to receive critical acclaim in the U.S, but he is already a revered filmmaker with a devoted international audience. He packed the house at Cannes and was described as "nearly the sole conscience of this year's festival."

" 'ABC Africa' is precisely what our Festival wants to celebrate -- risk-taking and the marriage of a critical intelligence with a conscience. This film will shock, inspire and educate, and we are honored to have it to kick off our young Festival," said George Walczak, Director of the Ojai Film Festival.

The preview screening will be held at The Ojai Playhouse, 145 East Ojai Avenue in Ojai. Tickets for the general public will be available at the theater box office for $7.50 per ticket prior to the screening. This includes a wine and cheese reception at The Oaks following the screening.

The Ojai Film Festival takes place November 8-12, 2001 at various venues in Ojai, and programming for the Festival will be announced at this preview screening. For further information, please call the Ojai Film Festival at (805) 649-4101.

About The Ojai Film Festival

Ojai is known for its flourishing artistic and spiritual community, which thrives on open-mindedness and tolerance of alternative lifestyles and points of view. The Ojai Film Festival grows out of this progressive philosophy, showcasing films that transcend narrative and genre formulas to explore new voices, experiences and ideas. In the heavily commercialized world of 'independent' film, the Ojai Film Festival's mission is to remain in Hollywood's backyard, not its back pocket.

The program consists of about 40 screenings, seminars, tributes, and special showcases, including a Mexican Filmmakers Showcase; Emerging Women Directors; and a Documentary Focus entitled Childhood Endangered: A Global Plight. The Second Ojai Film Festival, presented by the Ojai Film Society, will be held November 8-12, 2001. For more information, visit

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