2021 Small File Media Festival


Thank you everyone who submitted to the 2021 Small File Media Festival! The SFMF team is savouring this years submissions and look forward to seeing you all at the festival August 10-20.

Small file love,

– the SFMF Team

still from Entangled Orb, Azadeh Emadi (2020)

The date will be announced soon for the 2021 Small File Media Festival! Are you busy creating your own Small File Masterpiece?

This year we want you to SHOOT SMALL! Try using low resolutions and shooting with obsolete devices – there’s plenty of life left in your old digital point-and-shoots, flip phones and webcams! Find out more in our aesthetic solutions and technical solutions sections of the site.

Call for work: Second Annual Small File Media Festival

Submission Deadline: June 4, 2021

Movies don’t have to be big to be bingeworthy! All your favorite genres—cat videos, ASMR, reality TV, nü media formalism, sexual emancipation, animism and more!—look and sound great in a tiny file size that streams without damage to the planet.

Streaming media are calculated to cause over 1% of our global carbon footprint and rising fast. During the coronavirus pandemic, folks bingeing on streaming media consumed untold terawatts of electricity and produced choking megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. Large-file media are killing the planet!

Use your artistic voice to contribute to climate change action and cool down the planet. The SFMF makes HD, 4K, and 5G look unnecessary! Unsexy! So pre-pandemic! Immersion is so overrated! Small-file movies are exquisite, intensive, inexpensive, attractive, creative, and fun. We encourage you to experiment with low-energy technologies and deconstruct the fetishization of the pristine image. Small-file movies are not faithful, they’re promiscuous! ❤

The Small File Media Festival will be streamed in lovingly curated programs for 10 days in August 2021 from glorious Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth nations, through data centers and networks traversing Indigenous lands worldwide. We will host exciting lo-fi forums on small-file aesthetics and politics. All works will receive a rental fee. Award winners will receive a tiny certificate and the coveted SFMF Micro Bear!

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

Category 1: 5 Megs of Fun:
File size restricted to 5 megabytes!
Length: up to 5 minutes

Category 2: 22 Megs of Trouble:
Our bingeworthy category! A series of 3-8 parts, total file size 22 MB.
Length: up to 22 minutes

For both: Size to aim for: 1 megabyte per minute
Please record and submit processing/encoding time
Please note the work’s aspect ratio


Reality TV
Nü Media formalism
Compression aesthetics
Decolonial cosmotechnics
Small files love the planet
Youth makers (let’s stop asking young people to save the planet!)
Cooking shows
Cat videos
Sexual emancipation
Oceanic sound design and small-file beats
Supersmall files (how low can you go!)
Executable files
Obsolete’ technologies
New Media Idiocy
Cross-platform works (one version for live screening, another for streaming. Please include one minute excerpt of the live work)
Anything imaginable!

Online Submission:
Submit through info@smallfile.ca or visit us at smallfile.ca.

Physical Submission:

You can also copy your movie onto a USB and mail it to us. Great for groups!

Small File Media Festival,
SFU School for the Contemporary Arts,
149 W. Hastings St.,
Vancouver, BC
V6B 1H4, Canada.

We will return your USB.

Questions? Submissions? Contact us at info@smallfile.ca


The Small File Media Festival grows out of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded territory of the –Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səlío lwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.

We are grateful for funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.