MANSFIELD – Organizers of “The Shawshank Redemption” 25th anniversary Celebration announced Tuesday that director, screenwriter and producer Frank Darabont will take part in the Aug. 16 to 18 events in Mansfield.

Darabont will join panel discussions about the film and sign autographs for fans. Acclaimed for his film adaptations of Stephen King novellas, Darabont both directed and wrote the screenplay for “The Shawshank Redemption,” which was released in 1994 and filmed almost in its entirety in Mansfield (with locations in Upper Sandusky and Ashland).

Most of the 16 filming sites along The Shawshank Trail will offer events, tours and panel discussions throughout the weekend, though The Shawshank Trail welcomes visitors to Mansfield year round.

On Friday, Aug. 16, Darabont will join a panel discussion featuring the largest assembly of the movie’s cast and crew since its 1992 filming in Mansfield. Led by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz, the discussion takes place in the historic Renaissance Theatre, where the movie first premiered in 1994. It precedes an anniversary screening of the film.

Then on Saturday, Aug. 17, Darabont will join other cast members at the Shawshank Meet & Greet at the Ohio State Reformatory to sign autographs. Saturday evening, the famed director will again join Ben Mankiewicz at The Exclusive Shawshank Reception, also at the Ohio State Reformatory. Passes for all ticketed anniversary events are on sale now at Shawshank25.com.

The three-time Oscar nominee received many distinctions for directing “The Shawshank Redemption.” Darabont is one of only six filmmakers in history to have his first two feature films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award: “The Shawshank Redemption” received seven nominations and “The Green Mile” received four.

His work on the film and its screenplay earned him Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as nominations from the Director's Guild of America the Writers Guild of America. He also won the Humanitas Prize, the PEN Center USA West Award and the Scriptor Award for the screenplay.

More recently, Darabont developed and produced the first season and part of season two of “The Walking Dead.”

Organizers of the Aug. 16-18 anniversary celebration have developed a host of fan experiences surrounding the anniversary of the No. 1 movie of all time (IMDB), including several free events. Actors from the film slated to attend include: Bob Gunton (Warden Norton), William Sadler (Heywood), Mark Rolston (Bogs), Frank Medrano (Fat Ass), Alfonso Freeman (Red’s Mugshot and Fresh Fish Guy), Scott Mann (Glenn Quentin), Renee Blaine (Linda Dufresne) and Claire Slemmer (Bank Teller). A number of background actors will be staged at filming sites along the trail throughout the weekend to meet guests.

Special souvenirs will be available for purchase to commemorate the anniversary. Additions and updates will be announced via social media at @ShawshankTrail.

First on everyone’s list will be the Ohio State Reformatory tour for $25. Guests can stand inside Warden Norton’s office, peer into Andy’s escape tunnel, walk the Road to Buxton and ride a wagon to Malabar Farm’s Pugh Cabin where the movie’s opening scenes were shot.

A full list of other filming sites is found at ShawshankTrail.com.

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