Small File Media Festival

Submission Guidelines

Call for work: First Annual Small File Media Festival 

Submission Deadline: May 30, 2020 

What do cat videos, facial recognition and porn all have in common? You can find them at the first annual Small File Media Festival! 

The coronavirus pandemic is showing us how dependent people are on streaming media. Streaming media currently is responsible for over 1% of our global carbon footprint and rising fast. 

Use your artistic voice to contribute to climate change action and cool down the planet. We’re going to make HD, 4K, and 5G look unnecessary, unsexy, and so last decade. Small file videos are intellectual, innovative, attractive, creative, and fun. We encourage you to explore experimental processes through low-energy technologies and deconstruct the fetishization of the pristine image. 

If we can get together physically, the Small File Media Festival will be held August 10-12 in the beautiful cinema at Simon Fraser University in glorious Vancouver, Canada, and streamed in curated programs of tiny files. Selected works will be screened live and receive a rental fee. We will be featuring an “obsolete” media viewing platform for submissions with alternative technologies, and an anti-facial-recognition fashion show and workshops alongside the festival. Additionally, all accepted works will have the option of being curated and streamed online through energy conscious means. 

If we can’t get together physically, we’ll festively stream curated programs of tiny files. 

Come join us and celebrate the beauty of the small file! 

Submit through !

You can also copy your movie onto a USB and mail it to us. Great for groups! We will return your USB.
Send to:
Small File Media Festival,
SFU School for the Contemporary Arts
149 W. Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC
V6B 1H4


File size restricted to 5 megabytes of fun!
Size to aim for: 1 megabyte per minute 
Length: 1-5 minutes
Must record/submit processing/encoding time 

Looping media welcomed 


Aesthetic Invention
Supersmall files (how low can you go!) 
Cat videos
‘Obsolete’ technologies
Pre and post-apocalyptic media 

Cross-platform works (one version for live screening, another for streaming. Please include one minute excerpt of the live work) 

Anything Imaginable! 

*Why porn? The purpose of the Small File Media Festival is to draw attention to the contribution of streaming video to global warming. Porn constitutes about 27% of streaming video viewing, and thus directly contributes about 1/3 of 1% of greenhouse gas emissions (according to The Shift Project, 2019). People who watch pornography are an important part of the audience we wish to reach.


Appel aux vidéos: First Annual Small File Media Festival (Festival des vidéos petits-fiches)

Date limite: 30 mai 2020 

Quest’ce-que les vidéos de chats, les algorithms de compression, et le porno ont en commun? On peut les tous trouver au Small File Media Festival! 

Le pandemic coronavirus  nous montre à tel point les gens dependent du vidéo streaming. “Le visionnage de vidéo représente 80% du traffic internet annuel et cela va en augmentant. Réduire le poids de ses vidéos réduit l’énergie nécessaire pour les diffuser et donc les émissions de gaz à effet de serre qui y sont liés” (The Shift Project).

Employez votre voix artistique pour déchauffer la planète! Nous allons rendre le HD, le 4K, et le 5G inutile, démodé, et pas sexy. Les vidéos petits-fiches sont intellectuels, innovateurs, attirants, créateurs, and amusants. On vous encourage d’explorer les processus expérimentaux à travers les technologies bas-énergies et de déconstruire le fétichisme de l’image nette. 

Si on peut se rassembler physiquement, le Small File Media Festival aura lieu le 10-12 août à Simon Fraser University au glorieux Vancouver, Canada. Les oeuvres selectionnés seront projeté et recevront un frais d’artiste. Nous aurons également un plate-forme des médias “obsolètes” et un defile anti-reconnaissance-faciale. De plus, tous oeuvres acceptés seront invité d’être partagé en ligne dans des programmes thématiques. 

Si on ne peut pas se rassembler physiquement, nous partagerons tout festivement des programmes thématiques en ligne.

Venez nous rejoinder en fêtant la beauté du petit fiche!

Soumettre à ou visiter-nous à 

Vous pouvez également envoyer votre video sur USB par la poste—idéal pour les soumissions en groupe! Nous vous rendrons le USB. Envoyer à Small File Media Festival, SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada


Maximum grandeur du fiche: 5 megabytes d’amusement!
Grandeur à cibler: 1 megabyte par minute 

Longueur: 1-5 minutes
SVP enregistrer et soumettre le temps de traitement/compression

Les vidéos en loop sont bienvenus 


L’invention aesthétique 
Les fiches hyper-petits 

Le narratif
Le documentaire
le porno
Les sports
Les vidéos de chats
Les GIFs
Les technologies ‘obsolètes’ 
Les médias pré- et post-apocalyptiques

Les oeuvres pour les platformes multiples (en direct et streaming. Veuillez inclure une minute de l’oeuvre en direct) 

Tout imaginable! 

Voir des suggestions pour faire les vidéos petits-fiches à

Aesthetic Solutions

Want to make small-file media and don’t know where to start? Here are a few suggestions.

Stills and Sound

Be creative with stills and sound! Entries don’t need to be video files but we do need to be able to play them somehow – contact us! How far can you stretch a medium?

Below are a few stills from the experimental short film La Jetée (1962) by Chris Marker. In this science fiction piece a post apocalyptic narrative unfolds via photomontage, music, voiceover and one brief instance of moving images. Inspired? Intrigued? What can you do in five megabytes or less using only still images?


According to Wikipedia, “The demoscene is an international computer art subculture focused on producing demos: self-contained, sometimes extremely small, computer programs that produce audio-visual presentations.”

We encourage you to defy planned obsolescence and come up with your own demoscene projects on vintage and outdated hardware! Have a concept and aren’t sure how we can pull it off? E-mail us at

Read more on the Demoscene here:

Technical Solutions

Have an idea for the Small File Media Festival but don’t know how to compress it? Here are a few methods and techniques to get you started.


Handbrake is a free, open source utility that allows you to compress a video file into an incredibly small video file.

Download Handbrake here:

Don’t know where to start? EngageMedia offers a tutorial into the basics of handbrake here.

Feeling confident and want to jump right in? Here are a few settings we used to compress this video of the short film The Hotel (2018) from a 147 MB, 1080P video file with lossless audio to a 2.9 MB, 480P video with 48KBPS MP3 audio. The video was shot using a smart phone.

Below is a side by side comparison showing the stills from both the compressed and uncompressed version of The Hotel.

Reducing the Frame Rate

Clint Enns writes, “For regular HD videos with a standard resolution, bitrate is between 2,500 to 4,000 kbps. I can imagine it being much, much lower.  Lowering the bit rate substantially would produce some interesting results.  Also, making videos that are ~14 fps and really small like 352 x 240 or even smaller might be interesting.”

An example of this can be seen in Putting Yourself Out There

Handbrake has the ability to reduce frame-rates and this can also be done in most video editing software as well. Here we shrunk down a 5:25 long short film Gristle (2016) from a 183 MB, 24FPS 1080P video file with lossless AAC audio to a 5.3 MB, 15FPS 720X480 video file with 48KBPS MP3 audio. The video was shot using a DSLR camera.

The following Handbrake setting were used to achieve this:

Here is a side by side comparison of stills from the compressed and uncompressed versions of Gristle.


Avidemux is another open-source video editing and compression tool that is free to use.

Avidemux on SourceForge

AVIDMUX can be used to compress video files to under 1MB a minute. This 55 second long video file was compressed to under a megabyte with a resolution of 720X404 from a 148mb 1080P video file. The following settings were used to achieve this.

Set VIDEO OUTPUT to Mpeg4 AVC (x264)

Next, on the main panel under the VIDEO OUTPUT > CONFIGURE set the ENCODING MODE to AVERAGE BITRATE (Two Pass) and set the AVERAGE BITRATE to 75 KBIT/S

Next, on the main panel under AUDIO OUTPUT > CONFIGURE set the Bitrate to 56

Lastly to resize the video dimensions you have to apply a FILTER under OUTPUT FORMAT > CONFIGURE on the main panel. A new window will pop up. Select TRANSFORM and a series of video filters will populate. Scroll down to VERTICAL and drag it over to ACTIVE FILTERS. Lastly, double click on swsResize and the following panel will open.

Under Resize Dimensions set the width – height will automatically be adjusts to maintain the original aspect ratio – for example this video was set to 720 pixels wide and the height was automatically set to 404.

Lastly click the SAVE icon and choose where you would like to save the file. Your video will then be compressed to a super small size!


Any Video Converter is another program with a free option that also allows you to compress a video into a super small size. These steps enabled us to take the same video file as above and compress it to 1mb per minute.

First, drag and drop the video you wish to compress into the task window and under profile and select customized AVI Video.

Next, click on the AVI icon to change the video compression settings.

The settings should be as follows:

Codec: x264
FrameRate: 15
Bitrate: 64
Size: 1280X720

Codec: MP3
SampleRate: 44100
Bitrate: 64
Channel: 2

Once these are set click OK to go back to the main window.

Once the settings are correct click CONVERT NOW and your video will be compressed to a Super Small File Size. If your video isn’t shrinking properly try reducing the dimensions of the image even further.

Because we are doing strange things to video files they may not open in all video players. We found that VLC Player is able to play most video formats.