Gary Farmer


American Indian Film Festival

Actor and Filmmaker

Thursday,  April 13, 2006


Actor, cultural activist, musician and filmmaker, Gary Farmer (Cayuga) is widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of First Nations media. Farmer has been featured in groundbreaking leading roles including Philbert Bono in Jonathan Wacks' Powwow Highway and Arnold Joseph in Chris Eyre's Smoke Signals. For his role as Nobody in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, Farmer won the Best Actor awards in 1997 from both the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco and First Americans in the Arts in Los Angeles. Farmer also won the Best Actor award at the 1989 American Indian Film Festival for his role in Powwow Highway. He has appeared in over 60 films.

Farmer is the founding director of a highly original urban Indian radio network, a major cultural publication, and a cultural festival. Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR), currently broadcasts from 106.5 FM Toronto and streams at The network holds licenses to broadcast in eight Canadian cities, currently establishing the stations in Ottawa and Vancouver. AVR webcasts have included live coverage of numerous Native events, including film festivals and the recent opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Prior to developing AVR, Farmer led the Aboriginal Voices Festival, an annual film and art event in Toronto from 1998-2000, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Aboriginal Voices, a magazine about indigenous arts published from 1993-1999. The magazine won First Place for General Excellence from the Native American Journalist Association in 1995 and 1998.

Gary Farmer has recently completed a short fiction, Scratch and Win (2004). He directed three films that have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, What the Eagle Hears (2000), The Gift (1999), and The Hero (1995), and was the executive producer and a director for the APTN series Buffalo Tracks. Farmer performs on the harmonica, and has composed music for independent films. He was born in Ohsweken, Ontario, on the Six Nations Reserve.