While you’re probably familiar with many of the film adaptations based on the work of author Stephen King like 1976’s Carrie, 1994’s The Shawshank Redemption, or 2017’s It, you may not have seen many of the short films derived from his writing. That’s because these lower-budgeted efforts are rarely seen outside of film festivals.
That’s about to change. From April 23 through April 25, 2021, Canada's Barker Street Cinema will present the Stephen King Rules Dollar Baby Film Festival, a virtual screening showcasing 25 of the best short films based on the writer’s short stories.
The “Dollar Baby” refers to King’s policy about shorts. Amateur and budding filmmakers are welcome to try and option his work for $1, a program King created to support aspiring directors. Among the caveats of the deal is that the films are not permitted to pop up outside of festivals or be widely distributed online.
The Stephen King Rules event will be an exception. Barker Street Cinema partners James Douglas and Norm Coyne made a 2017 short based on King’s Sherlock Holmes story “The Doctor’s Case” and later approached King about a virtual festival. The writer gave his blessing. A number of shorts made over the years, including films based on “One for the Road,” “Gray Matter,” “The Woman in the Room,” and “Mute,” among others, will be shown.
Viewers can tune in on Barker Street Cinema’s YouTube or Vimeo channels. Panel discussions are expected to be part of the event. Author and King expert Anthony Northrup will co-host the event with media personality Leigh Coghlan. Virtual admission is free, but you'll have to bring your own blanket to cower under.