At the beginning of her filmmaking career, 1994-1997, Johanna Kern made a number of dramatic short films: the critically acclaimed short “Cherries for Brian”, “All about Men”, “All aboutWomen”, “Toronto: Second Society”, “Portrait of a Man”, and others. Her films were recognized at many international film festivals including: Palm Springs International Film Festival – U.S.; Raindance International Film Festival – U.K.; Figueira da Foz InternationalFilm Festival – Portugal, and others.
Several of her short films, including her documentary about homelessness, can be watched here (and on YouTube):
CHERRIES FOR BRIAN– critically acclaimed, made in 1997. Starring: Vieslav Krystyan, Kirstin Rae Hinton and Gerald Pratley.
What happened during World War II separated lovers and family for over half a century. And now one secret leads to another…
SYNOPSIS: Brian, a charming British Lieutenant, has been missing for over fifty years after World War II. Now his Grandson finds him in North America and discovers the secrets of the past, which affected the lovers, family and friends in three different countries. When an old mystery is solved, a new mystery begins.
Color and Black&White – entirely shot and edited on celluloid film, no digital enhancements. The film was well received in the international film festival circuit (Raindance International Film Festival – London, UK; Lisbon International Film Festival – Portugal; Norwich International Film Festival – UK):
ALL ABOUT MEN– made in 1996, Black & White – art, experimental, comedy/drama. Starring: Vieslav Krystyan.
After he was dumped by his girlfriend, a journalist asks himself a question: “What does it mean to be a Modern Man?” He takes his question to the streets, interviewing several women on that topic.
Behind the scenes secrets: the interviews used in the film are real, including the voice recording and footage. The film was well received in the international film festival circuit (Raindance Film Festival – London UK, Norwich film festival – UK):
PORTRAIT OF A MAN– made in 1994. This is the first short film ever made by Johanna Kern.
A silent, experimental film about shamanism and multiple personality disorder. An art film, black & white.
Starring Johanna Kern and Darcy Griffin. Original music score by MATTHEW, a young musician and Johanna Kern’s son. The music was re-mastered in 2012:
TORONTO: SECOND SOCIETY– the only documentary film ever made by Johanna Kern, shot in 1995 on the streets and in a shelter in Toronto.
The documentary explores the topic of homelessness, which the director wanted to understand and contemplate, after witnessing some tragic events earlier: although living in a town where various resources are available, many homeless people become severely ill and die on the streets.
In order to be able to get close to the protagonists in this film and be able to film them, Johanna Kern spent several days in one of the shelters (Good Shepherd Refuge) – volunteering. Because of the sensitivity of the story, there couldn’t be any crew present during the filming, nor any substantial equipment. There was only the director, the homeless and a very “humble, non-intruding” camera…(all participants signed releases for the story):
PUSS ‘N BOOTS– a televised theatre performance – a comedy / family / children’s show in Polish, with English subtitles.
There are only 2 actors here, playing all the parts: Johanna Kern and Krzysztof Jaworski (plus two extras).
Produced and directed by Johanna Kern in 1991 for MacLean Hunter. The VHS release of the televised version of the performance was quite successful and was sold to many Polish heritage schools in Ontario, Canada, and U.S.A.: