Education: 1960-65 Berkshire College of Art, Camberwell School of Art, Hornsey College of Art.
Career : 1965-69 Assistant Lecturer in Drawing and Painting , Loughbourgh College of Art, 1970 - present Arts Council of England, 1986 - present Director of the Film, Video and Broadcasting Department.
The Arts Council is a small player in relation to the media industries. Our objective is to influence the agenda of the television companies by introducing new programme ideas and collaborating on higher cost arts documentaries which would not be made without our involment. The most important underlying new idea in the 90's is Original Work for Television. The intention is to involve artists more closely in the programme-making process through collaborations between artists and directors. Choreographers in dance for the Camera, composers in Sound on Film and performance artists in Expanding Pictures. Film and video artists schemes involve these artists making work for television through projects like 1 Minute Television, Midnight Underground and Animate!. The other important aspect of this strategy is to concentrate on short-length programmes, which range in length from 1 minute to 15 minutes. The idea is to find new ways of creating an impact on the television schedules, by making intense, diverse and exciting programmes that catch audiences by surprise. The wide range of programmes we support is linked by the idea of innovation, in the programme making style, the subject matter or the intepretation of the subject.
National Film and Television School
The NFTS has a vital role to play in the health of the film
and television industry. /Sue Lawley, broadcaster, NFTS
The National Film and Television School is only 23 years old but it is already earned its reputation, producing a consistent stream of talented, creative and successful graduates who have refreshed the television and film world. For two decades the NFTS has been teaching both creative and commercial skills with extraordinary success. The achievment of its graduates, around the world and in every part of the industry, has been out of all proportion to their numbers. Since 1973 students at the NFTS have won more than 250 awards for their films at international festivals and industry ceremonies. In 1992 the NFTS won the Ampas Honorary Foreign Film Award, known as Student Oscar, for the third time.
Today, more then ever before, moving images pervade every part of our lives and our culture. The people who are responsible for creating those images have an incalculable effect on well-being of our society, and a growing impact on the health of our economy. The tension between commerce, creativity and social responsability has always been the lifeblood of our business. It's that tension which has given us popular cinema, serious as well as entertaining television, and allowed both media to become art forms in their own right. The quality and experience of NFTS training will continue to open doors for Britain's young creative professionals. In doing so it will go on meeting the needs of Britain's television and film industries, helping them to maintain their worldwide reputation for quality and creativity. / David Puttnam, Chairman of the Board of Governors/
The NFTS runs two major teaching programmes:
He started in BBC Scotland in 1973 as a trainee film editor. After working freelance as a director on current affairs and arts programmes, he became Head of Music and Arts in Scotland in 1983 and also had responsability for all chamber music output and Edinburgh Festival coverage on BBC2 network. In 1989 he moved to London as Editor of Arts Features and has since concentrated on making programmes devoted to design and the visual arts.
Keith has produced series such as Relative Values, about the ways in which art is valued, Artist's Journeys, in which leading contemporary artists revisit a favourite artist on the past and Every Picture Tells Story where the hidden story behind a well-known work of art is explored. He devised and initiated innovative, event-based series involving a wider audience such as Off the Wall and its follow up The Art Marathon in which members of the public put on their own exhibition after touring the country looking for the best in art, and the BBC Billboard Art Project which commissioned contemporary artists to make works speciffically for display on advertising hoarding around the country.
Forging strong links with the National and Tate Galleries in London has resulted in television seasons on Picasso and Rembrandt to coincide with major exhibitions and most recently a collaboration on the three-year film project about Holbein's painting. The Restoration of the Ambassadors. As well as working on event-scale projects, Keith devised the hugely popular 2-minute shorts on BBC2 in which a person who is not immediately involved with art responds personally to a single image, Talking Pictures. Artists covered include Sickert, Whistler, Picasso and Magritte.
Keith has been commited to turning around the way artists are engaged in the process of making programmes with the two series Picture House and Expanding Pictures: in the former internationally renowned film directors like Guy Maddin and Krzysztof Zanussi are commisioned to make a 5 minute film on an artwork of their choice, and in the latter contemporary performance artists are invited to collaborate with film makers to create original films based on their work.
Keith produces the BBC Design Awards, a competition, now in its tenth year, in which viewers are invited to vote for their choice of the best of recent British graphic and product design and architecture.
For his session at the Festival Art Film he will illustrate his attempts how to win audiences for arts programmes by devising new formats and innovative ways of presenting the arts on television.