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Al Daff (1975)


Filmed in 1975, Al Daff talks about his career and offers advice for Australian filmmakers. Al Daff was born in Melbourne before the First World War. He started in the despatch department of a film distribution company in Melbourne and rose to become President of Universal International in Los Angeles. He was involved with the production and distribution of 232 films and was the chief executive of Universal when the studio was making 35 films a year. At the time of this interview, Al Daff was one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood.

Curator’s notes

Although this is simply a straight interview shot in a hotel room, it is a must-see documentary for serious film students. The specific film references are pertinent to the time of the interview but the wisdom about filmmaking is timeless. Ken Hall, one of Australia’s most successful filmmakers of the 1930s, is the off-screen interviewer.

The film was produced as part of the Australia Council’s Archival Film Series.