Ryan Swen is a Los Angeles-based freelance film critic and a cinema and media studies Master of Arts at the University of Southern California, and holds an undergraduate degree in cinema and media studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. He hosts and produces the Catalyst and Witness podcast, and has written for Reverse Shot, The Film Stage, Seattle Screen Scene, MUBI Notebook, Hyperallergic, and the BFI. His research interests include film festivals, film culture, and arthouse and international cinema.


Ryan Swen
swenryan@gmail.com | rswen@usc.edu | taipeimansions.com
(949) 295-6453 | 3025 Royal Street, Apt 325, Los Angeles, CA 90007


  • Masters degree in Cinema and Media Studies
  • Focused writer on all manner of topics related to film
  • Erudite yet readable and concise style
  • Strong ability to meet deadlines


Freelance Critic, 2016-present

  • Frequently writes for at Taipei Mansions (personal site), Seattle Screen Scene (staff writer), and The Film Stage
  • Has contributed to Reverse Shot, the BFI website, Hyperallergic, MUBI Notebook, In Review Online, and the Brooklyn Magazine Film Section
  • Former member of the Seattle Film Critics Society (2017-2019)

Podcaster, 2018-present

  • Host, producer, editor, and creator of Catalyst and Witness, a podcast dedicated to personal explorations of the New York Film Festival

Archivist, 2019-present

  • Assistant archivist intern for the USC Warner Bros. Archive and the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive

Volunteer Programmer and Copy Writer, 2017-2019

  • Wrote program descriptions for the Northwest Film Forum
  • Assisted in programming and writing the descriptions for the experimental shorts section at the 2017 Local Sightings Film Festival at the Northwest Film Forum

Filmmaker, 2017-present

  • Writer, director, editor, and cinematographer of numerous short films
  • “Pictures at an Excavation” (2018; shot, edited, directed) in the experimental shorts official selection at the 2018 Local Sightings Film Festival


  • MA in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California (2018-2020)
  • BA in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle (2015-2018)


  • Writing
  • Editing/Proofreading
  • Fact-checking


  • Windows & Mac OS
  • MS Office
  • HTML5