Stephen King, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and some local creators shared a successful year together. It was a case of a movie making history within history.
For the first time, a feature-length film project radiated from here to the awards podium at international film festivals. The Doctor's Case was a short story written by King, the monarch of horror and drama. He wrote it as a homage to Doyle and the famed fictional detectives Sherlock Holmes and his associate Dr. Watson.
The story was a favourite of James Douglas, one of the senior managers at Barkerville who saw prime potential to combine his two passion professions - acting and archiving.
With the help of the Dollar Baby Program - a stringent but enabling licensing process for turning Stephen King stories into films by aspiring directors - Douglas was able to use Barkerville, Craigdarroch Castle and Emily Carr House as eye-popping sets for the making of the movie.
"One of the things I love most about this film is how it gets to showcase three national historic sites that are within British Columbia," Douglas said during the filming process.
Three heralded screen actors stepped into these Victorian backdrops: William B. Davis (The X-Files, Robson Arms), Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ray Donovan), and Michael Coleman (Once Upon A Time, Hipsterverse). They were joined by a supporting cast and crew dominated by local names from the Prince George and Barkerville communities like J.P. Winslow as Holmes, Andrew Hamilton, Stewart Cawood, Michelle Leiffertz, Shawna Berry and Danette Boucher among others on the performance side.
The crew side included notable local names like Jeremy Breaks, Ken Hiwatt Marshall and Marie Lui handling the music; and a production team led by Jana Phillips, Kyle Bachman, James Feragen, Kim Feragen, Brent Marshall and operational executive producer Norm Coyne.
The film was screened locally to wide fanfare but proving The Doctor's Case had appeal beyond its home region was where it really made its impressions. It gained acceptance to an international collection of festivals and then it won awards.
"Our festival run for The Doctor's Case saw us screen upwards of 30 times and garner 10 awards from all over North America and helped us shine a light on the great things happening in northern B.C. film," said Coyne.
"We are, as of today, working on a brand new feature film project," he said. "It isn't a sequel or a prequel or anything like that, it is unrelated to The Doctor's Case, but it is directly related in that the teamwork done for that film is what caused this new project to be possible. It's our next step, as a team. And we also have a series in development that is also unrelated in subject matter but only possible because of the industry that came together around The Doctor's Case. It takes volunteers, it takes investors, it takes experience, and it takes a lot of professionals in a lot of different fields to make a project happen but once it does, there is a momentum that springs forward off of that. Prince George is now getting in on that."
This is where The Doctor's Case has so far travelled:
Julien Dubuque International Film Festival (where the film officially made it's world premiere) in Iowa
Moonrise Film Festival (Wells)
Tri-Cities International Film Festival (Washington state)
World Con 76 (San Jose)
International Sound & Film Music Festival (Croatia)
Diamond In The Rough Film Festival (San Jose)
Royal Starr Film Festival (Detroit)
Northern FanCon (Prince George)
Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo
Open World Toronto Film Festival (where it won the trophy for Best Story and Screenplay: story by Stephen King and screenplay by James Douglas)
Cariboo Chilcotin Film Festival (Williams Lake)
Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema (where it won for Best Editing) in New York
Adrian International Film Festival (Michigan)
Filmplaya Festival (Playa del Rey)
Mid Tenn FilmFest (where it won Best Actor in a Feature: Michael Coleman, and Best Feature Film) in Tennessee
New Hope Film Festival (where it won for Best Period Film) in Pennsylvania
Comicpalooza (where it won Best Costumes: Michelle Lieffertz, Best Actress: Denise Crosby, and Best Cinematography: Ian Macdougall and Stuey Kubrick) in Texas
Regina International Film Festival & Awards
Festival of Cinema NYC in New York
Festival of Time (where it won for Best Feature and Best Cinematography) in Edmonton
Cinema CNC Film Festival (Prince George)
Jasper Short-Film Festival (upcoming in 2019)