German film historian Alfred Bauer was the founding director of the Berlin International Film Festival. Born and raised in Bavaria, he got his professional start with the UFA film company after earning a doctorate in film law. A member of the German army during WWII, he became a consultant on film for the British after the war. In that capacity, Bauer gathered information on every sound film made in Germany between 1929 and 1950. He launched the Berlin Festival in 1951 at the request of the Allies, who wanted to revitalize the flagging film industry. Bauer remained the head of the festival until his retirement in 1976.