Dinah Shurey was the only woman to found her own film company in 1920s Britain, producing six films and directing one, all of which, despite their apparent popularity, are lost. Absence of films and (auto)biography, along with the “oddness” of Shurey’s choice of military and naval melodramas, means film history has discounted her.
This article explores alternative historical sources—genealogical sites, popular magazines from her family’s publishing house, autobiographies of women she worked with, source novels and short stories, industry meeting and law-court reports, trade papers and reviews, shipping manifests, and hospital records. Drawing on Debashree Mukherjee’s concept of “cine-ecology,” it pursues Shurey’s career at the intersections of shifting social and professional networks and a diversity of sociocultural intertexts. It aims less to restore a forgotten woman filmmaker than garner insight into the lived experience of a career struggle, filtered through cultural changes, social and media events, conflicting industrial interests, and political calculations.