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Barker Street Cinema nears completion on holiday-inspired film

A Great North Christmas to be released later this year
Sled dogs who ran in the Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run will feature in A Great North Christmas, directed by Wells resident James Douglas, and filmed in Prince George.

It will be a great Christmas for Barker Street Cinema.

The northern B.C. film company is in post-production of its first feature-length film, A Great North Christmas, which should be released in time for the 2021 holiday season.

The film is the first of several projects Barker Street Cinema is working on with Sarah Shaak of Anamorphic Media and Shayne Putzlocher from Trilight Entertainment said Wells resident James Douglas.

Read More: Wells director set to lead Christmas film shoot

“We’re a fledgling film company,” Douglas said. “We’ve been in operation now for four years.”

For the next few years Douglas said Shaak and Putzlocher would help them navigate the new waters of being professional filmmakers.

“We always talked about doing some projects together, and an opportunity came up in March to shoot this Hallmark-style Christmas movie called A Great North Christmas which we did,” he added.

Filming took place in Prince George this past March.

The film directed by Douglas follows LA entertainment lawyer Caroline North who finds herself not enjoying the holiday season as much as she once had. She takes up her friend’s spontaneous winter travel package to Prince George, B.C., where she meets a Vancouver investment banker who has returned to his hometown to help his mother run their dog sledding business.

“We were fortunate enough during A Great North Christmas to be visited by WorkSafeBC and they did a full assessment of our COVID-19 plan and saw what we were doing, and we got a glowing report based on that so we felt very comfortable,” Douglas said of the coronavirus pandemic.

Douglas added the COVID-19 gave Baker Street Cinema a chance to work with a company looking to spend budgets on smaller North American productions, instead of international ones.

“This provided a window of opportunity for them to be able to seriously look at doing what we’ve been talking about for a couple of years, and that’s to try and produce something on a relatively low budget, with the quality people and both cast and crew that we have here in the north,” he said.

Barker Street Cinema came together to produce short stories by best-selling author Stephen King under his Dollar Baby program.

For $1 aspiring filmmakers can adapt one of King’s short stories. While they cannot profit from it it can lead to positive recognition and the start of a successful career.

“Back in 2017, we filmed a Sherlock Holmes story that King wrote called ‘The Doctor’s Case’ and that was sort of the reason for my business partner, Norm Coyne, and I putting Barker Street Cinema together and then based on the success of that film it became a really nice calling card,” said Douglas.

Barker Street Cinema is already eyeing their next feature-length film titled The Way to the Heart about an executive chef from Vancouver who returns to her hometown of Prince George where she finds her true love.

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