Peter Symes

Peter-SymesPeter Symes has worked in television since 1969. Until 2000 he was employed by the BBC, where he had a long career as a director, producer and executive producer. From his own work he is best known for his documentaries with verse commentaries, one of which won the Prix Italia, and he has written extensively about this technique, most recently in Faber and Faber’s 2007 Tony Harrison Collected Film Poems. In the 80’s and 90’s he produced and directed many other series, and as the commissioning editor for the BBC2 series Picture This, he gave many young directors their first chance to make a full-length documentary. From 2000 he has worked as a director and executive producer on a number of films, and as a tutor with various organisations, including StoryDoc (Athens), Ex Oriente (Prague), the Scottish Documentary Institute and Crossing Borders (Malaysia). From 2005-2009 he was the Head of the Documentary Campus Masterschool (Discovery Campus until 2008) based in Munich, Germany, concentrating on international co-production. In 1994 he helped found the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, becoming its first Chairperson. From 2002 to 2010 he was a trustee of the Grierson Trust, the charity set up to commemorate John Grierson, the founder of documentary in the UK.

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