Viktor Sidler Collection

The collection aims to honor and preserve the work of Viktor Sidler, who passed away in 2013. Sidler was editor of the Swiss journal CINEMA in the 1960s, a teacher of film, and, from the mid-1970s on, lecturer in film at the University of Zurich and later at ETH. He was a pioneer of film education and of the scholarly analysis of film at Zurich’s universities.

The goal of the Viktor Sidler Collection is to document and pay tribute to his journalistic work, his commitment as a teacher, and especially his career as a university lecturer. Manuscripts of all his lectures are available online, including the respective film clips. In some cases, recordings of the lectures themselves exist. This part of the collection can thus serve as a study resource for interested students. Sidler’s collected writings are also published, including some previously unpublished articles. The collection further contains recollections by people who attended his lectures, tributes, correspondence, and other materials.

The website’s second goal is to document the pre-history and early history of film studies as an academic discipline. Viktor Sidler’s career is particularly pertinent in this respect, as it spanned a period of nearly 20 years before film studies was institutionalized at UZH. His activities exemplify the tensions between film studies – as an academic endeavor – film politics, work in film clubs, film funding, and, eventually, Sidler’s own attempts at filmmaking.

The project is backed financially by UZH’s Interactive Learning Initiative and realized by the Department of Film Studies. Project team: Dr. Thomas Christen (research, editorial work), Dr. Tereza Fischer (editorial work, technical execution), lic. phil. Matthias Uhlmann (editorial work).