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Year-long Stephen King Film Festival features Films and Symposia

This blog has been reposted from Mystery Fanfare by Janet Rudolph

Fans of Stephen King’s writing now have an opportunity to immerse themselves in his literature, studying the iconic author and the movies sparked by his books. The Stephen King Film Festival takes place in Mansfield, Ohio — the very location where one of his most famous movies based on his work was filmed. One of the most haunted and recognizable places in all of Ohio, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield gained much of its notoriety not for its own historic past, but its role in the Stephen King novella that produced “The Shawshank Redemption.” Twenty-four years after the release of the No. 1 movie of all time (according to IMDB), King fans now can celebrate his work in Mansfield June through December, 2018.

The Festival includes screenings of some of the most renowned movies based on King’s novels and novellas at Mansfield’s historic Renaissance Theater. Each screening begins at 7 p.m. and will be preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a talk led by a noted authority on Stephen King’s writings and their impact on literature and society. After each discussion and film screening, attendees are invited to head to nearby Phoenix Brewing Company for craft beer tastings, movie trivia, and further discussion of film and literary works. The brewery offers Redemption IPA, among others.

Speakers for the evenings, held monthly with the exception of September, include professors, pop-culture experts and literary authorities specializing in King’s work, including:

  • June 21: Stand by Me, Carl Sederholm, PhD, professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Comparative Arts and Letters, Brigham Young University; Dr. Sederholm has written several articles and scholarly studies of King’s work
  • July 19: CUJO, Phil Simpson, PhD, President-Elect of the Popular Culture Association & American Culture Association, Dr. Simpson has written two books; one onStephen King’s work and another tracking serial killers through contemporary American film and fiction
  • August 16: IT, Mary Findley, PhD, a Professor of English at Vermont Technical College, Dr. Findley’s expertise includes how horror is manifested in popular culture, having written extensively about Stephen King’s work in Contemporary Literary Criticism and other scholarly journals
  • October 18: Carrie, Michael Perry, PhD, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Rockford University, Dr. Perry authored “King Me: Inviting New Perceptions” and “Purposes of the Popular and Horrific into the College Classroom.” He also co-edited “Stephen King’s Modern Macabre: Essays on the Later Works.”
  • November 15: The Mist, Patrick McAleer, Professor of English, Inver Hills Community College, McAleer authored “Inside the Dark Tower Series” and “The Writing Family of Stephen King”; co-authored “Stephen King’s Contemporary Classics: Reflections on the Modern Master of Horror” and co-edited “Stephen King’s Modern Macabre: Essays” on the Later Works.”
  • December 13: The Shining, Dr. Anthony Magistrale, Professor of English at the University of Vermont, Dr. Magistrale served as a research assistant to Stephen King and has authored dozens of academic books, articles and treatises on King’s work and the Gothic genre

For tickets and information about the Stephen King Film Festival, click here.

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

A Return to Film

by Colleen Cook

When our patrons who have been longtime Mansfield residents think about the Renaissance Theatre, they often recall fondly their visits to the Ohio Theatre to see movies throughout their formative years. When our theatre opened, it was as a movie palace that provided a considerable stage and dressing rooms for live acts.

In recent years, the Renaissance has only occasionally offered films as part of our programming, for a number of reasons. Securing the rights to films can be very costly, and certain films require highly expensive and frequent upgrades to projection technology that would put severe limitations on the live programming we’re able to offer. With a great cinema nearby, film is not an avenue we’ve sought to aggressively pursue.

All the while, though, we are deeply aware of our roots in film, and have been more than eager to be able to include film as a more regular part of our programming. We spent the past two years restoring and upgrading the projectors in our projection booth, which were actually original to the (now demolished) Madison Theatre down the street.

So, when a community leader, Chuck Hahn, approached us about launching a Stephen King Film Festival, we were more than eager to jump on board. As the series developed, we’ve partnered as well with the Mansfield/Richland Public Library and will be able to include expert speakers talking about the film and Stephen King prior to many of the films in the exciting lineup.

Thanks to the financial support of Charles P. Hahn, Cleveland Financial and the Mansfield/Richland Public Library, tickets are only $5 for each of the films in the series.

You can see the full Stephen King Film Festival lineup here.