British Columbia

Prince George filmmakers get Stephen King's endorsement for festival of films based on his work

A pair of Prince George, B.C., filmmakers are still reeling from the excitement of having their project endorsed by the king of horror.

Stephen King Rules will show 25 films inspired by the horror writer's unpublished short stories

Horror writer Stephen King gave a thumbs-up to a Prince George film festival. (Joe Kohen/Getty Images)

A pair of Prince George, B.C., filmmakers are still reeling from the excitement of having their project endorsed by the king of horror.

Stephen King posted a tweet showing his support for a virtual film festival in the central B.C. city that will pay homage to the author's work.

The festival, called Stephen King Rules, features 25 films based on King's unpublished stories and will be hosted on YouTube.

When the author heard about the film festival, he tweeted out, simply: "This is a cool thing."


"We were losing our minds. It's like you're being touched by the master," said Norm Coyne, one of the two people behind Barker Street Cinema, the Prince George film company organizing the festival. 

"I've been a King fan for a long long time," he told CBC's Daybreak North. "[And] this film festival was a passion project between my partner ... and I."

Coyne said while producing The Doctor's Case, their own adaptation of King's work, three years ago, he and his partner James Douglas discovered the Dollar Baby Deal, a program run by King in which filmmakers are granted non-commercial rights to turn one of his unpublished short stories into a film for $1. 

Normally, these films would be presented at film festivals but, because of the pandemic, Coyne said he and Douglas wanted to find another way to still showcase their work.

"Our idea was to do something during the pandemic that would allow these filmmakers, who can't show their films at festivals, to show them to the massive audience of the world — but also provide people in isolation ... 25 Stephen King films," Coyne said.

He said they contacted King's team for permission to show the adapted films online, and were thrilled to get King's personal support on Twitter.

"As storytellers ... we want to share what we created with as many people as possible," he said.

Stephen King Rules runs April 23-25 from 1 to 6 p.m. on Barker Street Cinema's YouTube channel.

LISTEN | Norm Coyne talks about Stephen King Rules and the author's endorsement on Daybreak North:

Organizer Norm Coyne was delighted when the famous author tweeted about his online film festival. 7:43

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With files from Daybreak North


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