British Universities Film & Video Council

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Documentary Technicians Alliance ("DATA Film Unit")

Profile

Born
1944
Dates
1944
Role
Production Co.
Newsreels / Cinemagazines
Mining Review
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History

DATA was formed in 1944 as a co-operative society by a group of former employees of Paul Rotha Productions, including Donald Alexander [qv], Jack Chambers [qv] and Wolfgang Suschitzky [qv]. It was intended to be independent of ‘monopoly and special interests’ with a sense of social responsibility.

The unit made several films for the Ministry of Information [qv] during the war and then went on to do work for the Central Office of Information [qv] and the British Council [qv] in post-war years. From 1949 onwards, with the reduction in government film contracts, DATA took work from more industrial sponsors, particularly the British Iron and Steel Federation. It also made more speculative films for theatrical release.

The Alliance disolved in the 1970s with the general decline of the industry.

Sources

I. Aitken, ‘Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film’, p310-311.

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