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‘Shawshank Redemption’ set to be screened at Columbus film festival

The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio Credit: Courtesy of MCT

The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

The Film Festival of Columbus is set to feature a throwback.

On Sunday, along with a number of new independent films, the festival is set to screen the 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption” in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary.

The film was shot at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.

John Daugherty, co-founder of FFOCOL and member of the Greater Columbus Film Commission, said the choice to shoot the movie in central Ohio was influenced by a few factors.

“The old Mansfield prison, where it was filmed, was the perfect location,” Daugherty said in an email. “Since the film was a period film, the age of the prison was perfect. Plus, the low cost of actually shooting in central Ohio I’m sure was attractive to the producers.”

The Mansfield prison was built around the turn of the 20th century and was closed by court order in 1990.

Based off the 1982 Stephen King novella “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” the film tells the story of two prisoners — played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman — who form a bond over years of incarceration.

Daugherty said the screening is set to provide an opportunity to see the film in its original format for those who didn’t get a chance upon its original release.

“It really is timeless, and the beauty of showing it this year is a lot of people, including myself, have never seen it on the big screen,” Daugherty said. “Plus, many people from Columbus were in the film as extras and crew, so hopefully we’ll get some of them in to watch the film.”

Johnny DiLoretto, director of communications for the Gateway Film Center, said the festival wants to honor the film’s legacy and inspire future filmmakers.

“By celebrating its 20th anniversary we’re hoping to send the message that tomorrow’s modern classics could also be shot right here in central Ohio,” DiLoretto said in an email.

The Film Festival of Columbus, or FFOCOL, is an annual event held at the Gateway Film Center to showcase the work of independent filmmakers across the country. Johnny DiLoretto, director of communications for the Gateway Film Center, said part of FFOCOL’s mission is to attract filmmakers to the Columbus area.

“FFOCOL came about because we saw the need to expose Columbus to the next wave of great independent films and filmmakers,” DiLoretto said in an email. “We have a wonderful city with hundreds of terrific locations and an immense pool of talented production people who could help make great films.”

The festival will also provide opportunities for students to see independent films and interact with filmmakers.

“I think it’d be a fun experience,” Zach O’Donnell, a first-year in aerospace engineering said. “I think it would be something different to do for anyone who was interested.”

FFOCOL will take place Oct. 9-16 and feature around 40 films along with special events and visiting filmmakers. Tickets to all screenings are $10 with the exception of the Travis Mathews double feature on Saturday, which is $15.

One comment

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