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Raoul Schmidt

Raoul Schmidt is a film archivist at the Austrian Film Museum and PhD candidate at the University of Art and Industrial Design Linz.

He is working on a dissertation on the topic of amateur film in the archives. He was a Resident Fellow at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society (LBIGG) from 2013 to 2016, which was renamed the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (LBIDH) in March 2019.

Fellow project: Keepers of the Microframe. Amateur film and its archives
Since its technical development in the 1920s, amateur film has been considered a virulent practice of recording and recording one’s own life. Since the 1980s, a discourse has increasingly developed on the significance of and the adequate handling of these filmic materials. This concerns both the configuration of this multi-layered material (testimony, document, work, practices) and its mediation. The background to the revaluation and reassessment of amateur films is a turning point within film archives and their collections. Museums and film archives are increasingly including analogue cine films (8mm, Super8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm) by amateur filmmakers in their collections. Nevertheless, there is hardly any theory and material interlocking discussion on the evaluation of these holdings from within the archives and within the archives themselves. Most archives lack a stringent strategy that does justice to the hybrid character of the films and their paratexts. In many cases, they exclusively follow a logic of incorporating film material.

By comparing current collection and archiving practices of national and international archives, the PhD project creates an analytical basis for developing a strategy that is adequate for the material of amateur film and its paratexts. Central to this is the re-evaluation of biographical and autobiographical amateur films as first-person documents. This definition assigns the individual amateur filmmakers an essential role in the archival work with life-historical film records. The practical part of the PhD project is dedicated to the processing of the film material itself, its restoration and the mediated re-presentation. The amateur film and its paratexts form the objects of artistic interventions that relate to re/performance, restoration and archiving as social practices.


Raoul Schmidt
Austrian Film Museum (Collections)
Heiligenstädter Street 175
1190 Vienna
Tel.: +43-1-370 46 7-11