Before his directing debut, JKH was Assistant Professor of film studies at Concordia University in Montreal, taught screenwriting at UCLA (Extension) and more recently, advanced film production at the Graduate School of Cinema at the University of Southern California.
Previously, JKH wrote and directed The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler as his sixth Hallmark Hall of Fame film. It won an Emmy Award and was nominated for three, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Anna Paquin. In 2010 the film was honored by the DGA with a nomination for John Kent Harrison as Best Television Director of the year.
Other projects include The Lois Wilson Story (2010) which received a SAG nomination for Winona Ryder, William Faulkner's Old Man (1997), one of the most critically acclaimed Hallmark presentations, which won two Emmy Awards, the Humanities Prize, the Christopher Medal and a Golden Reel. Other Hallmarks include The Water Is Wide, which received two Emmy nominations; What the Deaf Man Heard, which was nominated for an Emmy as Best Television Movie of the year and has been the highest-rated stand-alone 2- hour TV movie since 1991 and one of the most watched Hallmark Hall of Fame movies in history. According to Hallmark Hall of Fame statistics, Harrison’s 7 Hall of Fame movies have captured a total audience of 120 million viewers.
In 2003 he co-wrote and directed A Bear Named Winnie, which became one of the highest rated 2-hour TV movies in Canadian history and was nominated for four Genie awards, winning two. Two years later he wrote and directed the Emmy-nominated mini-series, Pope John Paul II, starring Jon Voight.
Also in the four-hour mini-series format, John directed Helen of Troy, which won an Emmy, A Wrinkle in Time, which won the Best Feature Film Award at the International Children's Film Festival in Toronto in 2003 and The Sound of Silence, which won the CableACE Award for Best Foreign Television Movie of the Year.
In the last fifteen years, Mr. Harrison has directed and written numerous other award-winning films. Among these, one of the most memorable is You Know My Name, a two-hour he wrote and directed for Sam Elliott and TNT. It won the coveted Wrangler Award for Best Western Television Movie of the year at The Cowboy Hall of Fame.
John Kent Harrison is a Canadian and American citizen. He presently lives in Portland, OR.In his spare time he writes fiction (his short story, Drugstore Cowboy, was anthologized by Oxford University Press) and enjoys giving professional workshops in advanced filmmaking.