rik.swartzwelder [at] gmail.com


Rik Swartzwelder is a writer-director-actor and also a producing partner at Skoche Films, LLC, whose independent feature film Old Fashioned released in theatres over Valentine’s Day weekend 2015.  In addition to the film itself, two books inspired by Rik’s original screenplay (a novelization as well as the official companion to the novelization/film, The Old Fashioned Way: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Romance) were published by Tyndale House to accompany the film’s release.

Old Fashioned marks Rik’s feature film debut as a director, but he has directed numerous award-winning short films and worked on several other projects as a writer and producer.  All totaled, his previous films have screened at over 145 film festivals worldwide and garnered over 50 major awards.

He is perhaps best known for his 35mm short The Least of These, which was based on “The Agnes Story” by Tony Campolo.  The film was a bona fide film festival phenomenon globally and it broke new ground in terms of secular crossover and artistic kudos for a film with a strong faith message.

Other accolades include the “Student Emmy” for his highly acclaimed graduate thesis film, Paul McCall, a CINE Special Jury Award, four ITVA-DC Peer Awards, five ICVM awards, a “Reel Spirituality” award, a Rebel Planet “Best in Show,” and the Sprint PCS Filmmaker of the Future Award.

Coming from a strong background as a director and actor in traditional and experimental theatre, Rik paid his dues and developed his film craft with wide-ranging production experience on over 50 narrative film and video projects.

In March 2008, Rik was honored by the Heartland Film Festival by being invited to lead the very first filmmaking workshop offered (“The Craft of Film Directing”) as part of their newly launched Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Institute.

He has worked as a script doctor and is invited regularly to teach and speak on film, including engagements with Kent State University/Tuscarawas, Calvin College, La Sierra University, Southeastern University, Walla Walla College, Southern Adventist University, Compass College of Cinematic Arts, the 168 Hour Film Festival, and the Biola Media Conference.

Rik’s work has scored distribution deals with Freestyle Releasing, Comcast OnDemand, First Look Entertainment, PBS, Frontier Airlines, Big Film Shorts, Family Bookstores, and more.  His projects have also received extensive press, including coverage in Time, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Christianity Today, The Desert Sun, The Indianapolis Star, The Lakeland Ledger, The Times-Reporter, and The Grand Rapids Press.

Rik is a graduate of The Florida State University’s Graduate Film Conservatory, where he earned an M.F.A. in Motion Picture Production.

He grew up in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and spent many years living in both central Florida and Washington, DC.  He currently resides in Los Angeles.


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In the meantime, a collection of older press photos and production stills can currently be found on Rik's Facebook page »


Rik Swartzwelder on IMDB »

Rent or buy The Least of These »