Ely Landau was a producer and production executive who was behind a number of highly-regarded films. Landau started working in television as a director and producer for a number of companies in the late '40s following military service during the war. He founded the national Telefilm Associates in 1953 and subsequently became the president and chairman of the board for the company. One of their series Play of the Week earned Landau a Peabody Award. In the 1960s, he turned to feature-film production. Always interested in adapting theatrical productions to film, he founded the American Film Theatre in order to make movies of distinguished American and British plays.