2021 Small File Media Festival Call for Submissions!
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
Nü Media formalism
Small files love the planet
Youth makers (let’s stop asking young people to save the planet!)
Oceanic sound design and small-file beats
Supersmall files (how low can you go!)
New Media Idiocy
Cross-platform works (one version for live screening, another for streaming. Please include one minute excerpt of the live work)
Submit through email@example.com or visit us at smallfile.ca.
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.,
V6B 1H4, Canada.
We will return your USB. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to the artists, attendees and Small File Team for making this festival come alive. Here are the awards for the 2020 Small File Media Festival!
Hân Phạm, Once Upon a Time
Second Place tie
Trevor Byrne, Sticky Note Studies #1 & #2 (Orange and Pink)
François Quevillon, Exhaust
Youth choice – Phoebe Todd-Parrish, Searching:
Smallest file – Daniel Carter, Star Trek: Voyager Intro in 283kb
Aesthetic invention tie
Azadeh Emadi, Entangled Orb
Andy Catsirelis, Noise of the Stream
Best Cat Video – Pierre Leicher, Catfessions #1
Best Narrative – Colin Williscroft, O’Hara Lane
Best Documentary – Mike Hazard, Something from nothing (Dr. Evermor)
Best Porn – Dooley Murphy, Shameless Plug
Best Animation – Ben Mosher, Cloud Loaves
Best Obsolete technology – Ashley Blewer, Throttled
Best Post-apocalyptic – John Tinneny, The End
Best Cross-platform work—Nathan Wyatt Kiesman, New Beginnings
Curators’ Choice – Leanne Dunic, Melt
Best Actor – Weihan Zhou, Moththth
Most Sensuous – Paul Clay & Sarah Kantrowitz, I Missed You
Best new media idiocy – Hany Rashed, My Instagram
Best underdog – Daupo, And Success Will Be Your Name
The Small File Media Festival Opening Ceremonies were Monday, August 10 at 2:00 PM PST!
Festival organizers and programmers welcome makers and audiences to the festival and explain what it’s about and how it works .
Small File Media Festival 2020
The First Annual Small File Media Festival celebrates low-bandwidth movies that stream with no damage to the planet! Streaming video has an alarmingly high carbon footprint: it’s the cause of about 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.* But these movies at under 5 megabytes each—about the size of a small PDF file—show that great cinema doesn’t have to mean great big files.
We received over 100 submissions from around the world. Artists found many ways to work with the small-file constraint. Animation! GIFs! Low frame rates! Datamoshing! Still images with sound! Movies made with “obsolete” technologies! Websites! Executable files! Very short movies! And movies creatively compressed into small files. We’ve got narrative, documentary, and experimental movies. We’ve got cat videos! We’ve got porn—because streaming porn is responsible for 0.3% of greenhouse gas emissions!
Festival co-organizer Sophia Biedka says, “As an independent filmmaker, I really respect the inventiveness and ingenuity of these makers.” “Small-file movies can be a little hard to see,” admits festival founder Laura Marks, “but you can feel them!” Media activist and festival co-organizer Joey Malbon says, “It’s five megabytes of fun!”
Our programming committee, which also includes artist Faune Ybarra, media scholar Radek Przedpełski, and IT engineer Alejandro Rodriguez-Silva, is curating all these tiny movies into aesthetically satisfying thematic programs.
Programs will be hosted on our Vimeo platform August 10-20, by paying a $1 membership and optional donation. Donations will support the Second Annual Small File Media Festival. All artists receive a rental fee.
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.