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Self Defense

A story of a man who accidentally kills a woman when he breaks into a house. The woman's husband doesn't find forgiveness and loses his mind.

This is a short film about domestic crime and the damage it can cause in the lives of people around us.

This is Film Noir in color.

  • John Kearns Jr
  • Henk Conn
  • Henk Conn
  • John Kearns Jr
  • Jonathan Mariande
    Key Cast
  • Carlo Alberto
    Key Cast
  • Jen Nikolaisen
    Key Cast
  • Timothy Woodward Jr
    Key Cast
  • Dominique Marsell
    Key Cast
  • Louis Narmandin
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - John Kearns Jr

John Cleveland Kearns, Jr. (aka Johnny Kearns) was born and raised in the small town of Morehead City, North Carolina. As a child, he spent most of his time playing with cameras and enjoyed making home movies with his family and friends. However, as Johnny got older, he developed a deep love for the entertainment industry.

After graduating from high school, Kearns attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where he studied religion and cinema. After four years of higher education, he moved to Wilmington, North Carolina where he partnered with a group of like minded independent filmmakers and formed a production company. They produced over 100 productions ranging from features, to commercials, and two national cable TV shows from 2003 to 2008.

In 2009, Kearns moved to Los Angeles, California where he continues to work both behind the scenes or on camera on a multitude of various projects.

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Director Statement

On the surface, Self Defense takes the appearance of being an extremely simple film. In reality, it is a dense criticism and is darkly existential. The characters that are the aggressors are postured on the floor, in defense of their bad choices.

The defending characters end up getting killed, because they fight back. It speaks to the origins of mob mentality and choices driven by getting-the-bad-guy or "defending" the things to which we are attached.

The locations hint at what plagues the characters. The house (a symbol of family and self), the cemetery (a symbol of the past, and often denial), the workshop (business and responsibility).