Anstey was educated at Watford Grammar School for Boys and Birkbeck College. He spent a few years as a civil servant before starting in 1930 at The Empire Marketing Board's film unit, under the direction of John Grierson. In 1949, he joined the British Transport Films unit, which he headed until 1974. He was nominated for the Short Subject (Live Action) Academy Award in 1965 for the documentary film Snow.
- Nicholas Pronay, ‘Anstey, Edgar Harold Macfarlane (1907–1987)’, rev., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 4 Oct 2007
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