The Story of Ibérica Films
A group of Jewish film professionals flee Nazi Germany for a new life in Spain. Determined to continue with their careers, David Oliver and director cum theatre manager Kurt-Louis Flatau form “Ibérica Films” in Barcelona, 1934. The expertise they bring with them will leave an indelible mark on Spanish Cinema.
A production still from the Ibérica Films production Doña Francisquita (1935). My grandmother (and production chief) Edith Oliver sits in the foreground . Having to work on shoestring budgets forced Ibérica Films to operate very much as a family affair. Directly behind her stands the film’s director, Hans Behrendt. Both are dressed in the ubiquitous UFA work uniform…a white lab coat.
Bomb on Unter den Linden-1934
Ibérica Films operated as a sort of Spanish “underground railroad” for Jewish film makers on the run from Nazi Germany.
Produced in affiliation with Sascha Films (Vienna)
In 1936, Ibérica is dissolved under Franco, and Oliver moves to England to work with Alexander Korda at Denham Studios. Oliver commissioned and built Denham’s film laboratories, a Bauhaus building now protected by Britain’s National Trust.
The Vanished World of the Oliver Family-44, Königin Augustastrasse-1928
Portraits of the Filmmaker as a Young Man