Actor Gary Swanson at Barbados Film Festival

by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

The Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF) recently held its eighth annual event for six days of cinema from across the globe. The theme of Bim Film for Change had a record of entries and continues to showcase stories of human adversity. The festival contributes to the development of and providing the platform for international and Barbadian Filmmakers. The Barbados Independent Film Festival is a juried festival, attracting entries globally.

Gary Swanson

Invited as a guest of BIFF, Gary Swanson, actor and renowned acting coach from the Actors’ Studio NY, taught two acting workshops at the Festival and an Introduction of the Method Acting Approach as well as an actors’ intensive class for the serious actor.  With a long and impressive career, Swanson kick started his acting career in films such as Vice Squad and Making Love and the television miniseries Loose Change.  He began in television with a role on the NBC-TV soap opera series Somerset, where he appeared as Dr. Greg Mercer for three seasons. He continued to work steadily in film throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, appearing in Stranded, and an adventure film Blood Red. He also appeared in the Phillip Schopper comedy In the Spirit, and roles in the horror film The Guardian, Convicts, and Double Threat. Swanson also appeared in The Bone Collector with film star Denzel Washington. Appearing in the Hampton International Film Festival in 2007, Swanson starred in Whiskey School. He has starred and worked with some of the greatest directors in the world Arthur Hiller, William Friedkin, Peter Masterson, Nicolas Roeg, and Philip Noyce. He taught basic technique at The Actors Studio where he continues to collaborate.

Swanson has also focused on his own courses, as a part of this he has, and still is been personally coaching many well-known actors, and is conducting weekly workshops with small groups of developing artists. In 2006, he initiated The Montauk Group, a deeply impacting and intensive summer workshop and theater group. Swanson lives between Manhattan and Montauk, New York. For more information about Gary Swanson’s acting classes and workshops visit