Born in 1960 in southern New Jersey, Keith Reamer fell in love with the movies at an early age, making Super 8mm horror films in his backyard before deciding, at age 14, to become a film editor.
Upon graduation from the University of Bridgeport film program, Keith went right to work in New York in the post production field. For the next 10 years he developed his film chops through a series of low-budget genre films, like “Voodoo Dawn,” “Plutonium Baby” and “Primal Scream.”
In 1992, Keith’s big break came with Maggie Greenwald’s well-received revisionist western, “The Ballad of Little Jo” (starring Suzy Amis and Ian McKellan), quickly followed by “Ten Benny,” Eric Bross’s feature debut, spotlighting a striking performance by a young Adrien
Brody. His next film, Mary Harron’s explosive debut “I Shot Andy Warhol,” was produced by Christine Vachon and Killer Films. Lili Taylor gives a wry and vivid portrayal of the “I” in the title, shooter Valerie Solanas. Both “Ten Benny” and “I Shot Andy Warhol” premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival.
Keith continued to attract interesting projects. He cut Tony Bui’s feature debut, “Three Seasons,” the first American dramatic feature to shoot in Vietnam. It won three awards at 1999’s Sundance festival. Then came Maggie Greenwald’s acclaimed musical drama (and Sundance award winner), “Songcatcher.” For CBS Television and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, he edited John Gray’s vibrant biography, “Martin and Lewis.”
Keith began an ongoing association with writer/director Hilary Brougher, cutting her Sundance award winner “Stephanie Daley,” starring Amber Tamblyn and Tilda Swinton, and most recently, the short “Wake O Wake,” starring Sarita Chaudhury.
After years of success in dramatic features, Keith made his feature documentary debut in 2008 with the well-received “American Swing,” produced by Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente for directors Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart. It depicts, with editorial abandon, the rise and fall of NYC’s legendary swing club, Plato’s Retreat. This led to other doc projects, most notably Jed Rothstein’s film about heavy metal music in the Islamic world, “Before the Spring, After the Fall.” Keith and Jed followed this up in 2017 with the eye-opening documentary about a financial fraud, "The China Hustle."
In 2009 he collaborated with writer/director Cherien Dabis, cutting her debut feature, “Amreeka.” It won the Director’s Fortnight FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize at Cannes 2009.
In addition to his ongoing editing career, Keith expanded the scope of his work to include educating. In 2009, he began a rewarding relationship with Columbia University, teaching editing classes for 2nd year graduate students. The same year, Keith led an intensive feature film editing workshop for the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, in Amman; this led, two years later, to his return to Amman as mentor to a former student, Ayham Abu Hammad, on the Jordanian comedy “Seven Hour Difference.”
Keith has been fortunate to continue to work on exciting, vital films, including Jim Kolhberg’s directorial debut, “The Music Never Stopped.” Based on an Oliver Sacks case study involving music and memory, it was the opening-night film at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. He joined forces with director Isabel Coixet (“Elegy”) in cutting her film, “Learning to Drive.”
In 2015, Keith collaborated once more with writer/director Maggie Greenwald (their seventh film together!) on, “Sophie and the Rising Sun.” It premiered at the opening night gala for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
The year 2017 brought two interesting new projects - the editing of Cuba Gooding Jr’s directorial debut, “Louisiana Caviar,” starring Cuba, Famke Janssen and Richard Dreyfus - and, “Made A Movie, Lived To Tell,” a documentary Keith co-directed with William Murray, and edited.
More recently, Keith edited Jeffrey Wolf’s documentary on outsider artist Bill Traylor, “Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts.” It premiered at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and continues to play festivals throughout the world.
In late 2018, Keith was honored with membership in the professional organization, American Cinema Editors (ACE).
What draws him to editing? “The excitement of finding a path to the core of a film, its essence. And making that palpable for an audience. It’s a balance, a tension, a dance that I find irresistible.”
Keith resides in New Jersey with his wife, Murphy Birdsall and their dogs, Fadi and Nellie Jo.