An organic compound has the general structural formula (I). In the formula (I), Core is a conjugated organic unit capable of forming a rod-like macromolecule, n is a number of the conjugated organic units in the rod-like macromolecule, Gk is a set of ionogenic side-groups, and k is a number of the side-groups in the set Gk. The set of the ionogenic side-groups provide solubility of the organic compound or its salts and give rigidity to the rod-like macromolecule. The number n provides molecule anisotropy that promotes self-assembling of macromolecules in a solution of the organic compound or its salts, forming lyotropic liquid crystal. The solution is capable of forming a solid optical retardation layer of positive A-type substantially transparent to electromagnetic radiation in the visible spectral range. An optical film based on an organic compound of the general formula (I) and a method of making same are also disclosed.