2021 PROGRAMS

2021 SMALL FILE MEDIA FESTIVAL OFFICIAL SELECTION

These ten programs consist of the official selections of the 2021 Second Annual Small File Media Festival. Please remember to enter the password found on your eTicket stub to unlock the video carousel on each page. This year we’ve got a new Bingeworthy category, for series of works that total less than 22 MB. You’ll find these huge little series throughout the programs.

Programming committee: Sophia Biedka, Joey Malbon, Laura U. Marks, Radek Przedpełski, Faune Ybarra

The Small File Media Festival ends on August 20, 2021 at 11:59PM PST!

ONTOLOGICAL TEMPERATURE

Amidst this summer’s heatwave—a scorching imprint of the Anthropocene—airport infrared scanners search our bodies for signs of inflammation. Diagnostic machines whirr as oracles. Temperature—whether that of global land surface, server farms or the zones of our bodies—has taken an existential and political dimension. As above, so below. Being emits energy, radiates, detonates and takes a toll. The small-file interventions in this program are diagnostic oracles akin to thermal scanners. They trace the emerging zones of intensity marked by the phenomena of bordering, melting, (de)saturation and dispersion, revealing intimate climates in the fault-lines of environmental, mental and social ecologies.—RP

EAR(TH) ELEMENTAL INCANTATIONS

Earth intones ||/ sending shivers along incommensurate, infinite, infinitesimal, unknown worlds /||| crisscrossing the geological layers of deep time | piercing and folding time-space. Attuned to the body of the earth || the earth/body sculptures in this program keep a sensitive ear to the ground: on the lookout for murmurs | oscillations | poisonous whispers | wounds of extractivism. Composing wind, conversing with the shore’s beyond, seeing with water glyphs, tasting fire, breathing metals, eating mountain souls |\|| the small-file films succumb to elemental incantations where vision is interstitial and sonorous signals abound.—RP

IMAGINARY PLANETS

For whom is this earth,
this usurped land, its grape clusters
one by one made to fall,
the land stormed by countries league on league,
its open spaces hedgehogged by spears,
this land unstrung from wounds
like some prey run down in the palms

…for whom?
—Muhammad Afifi Matar, translated by Ferial Ghazoul and John Verlenden

Our planet is shrugging like a cow with fleas! Some of these movies immerse us the point of view of life left to its own devices. Others indulge in the pleasures of wanton destruction and the evolution of splendid/terrifying new forms. It’s been a fun ride but it’s time to spin off—right, Elon and Jeff? 
—LM

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION

Welcome to the part of your mind of slipping pandemic sanity, the inherent craving for curiosity, and follow us to a place where we can strum our stagnant heart strings.—SB

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A SMALL FILE

“Let’s try again!” says Emma Ciprian in Self-Tape, capturing the essence of the films in this program. Our Small File artists explore the materiality of their surroundings—including their own bodies— in relation to the technologies available for story-telling. Whispering questions of an ontological nature, they offer no answers but intrigue us with their confesssions, failures, alterities, and the many quests that have escaped their interest.—FY

THE MAGICIANS BODY

Certainly, when your body is split in half in front of an audience, you know it will come back together. But what if it didn’t? Wouldn’t you like to know the multiverses in which your legs might run and that your core might enjoy? The films in this program show us the labour of trancing, as characters and plot lines appear and disappear on plain sight. Each film is an open invitation to let your body wonder where it could be if it forego of the illusion of certainty.

TIMETRAVELS

Time is forefront, inescapable and never small in this assemblage of intersecting relative temporalities. Always in movement even when still, Timetravels offers an escape from the four-dimensional manifold of spacetime, disobeying duration and avoiding inference whenever possible. 

PANDEMIC TECHNOLOGIES: CARE

Through the fabrication of living we are united by loneliness. Humanity clings to our fingertips in droplets of desperation, and yet what is most important rises to the surface and is loud.—SB

PANDEMIC TECHNOLOGIES: CONTROL

How can one lose CONTROL? The movies in this program closely zoom in on the control infrastructures we live by, which propagate across the networks, affects and media screens that dividuate us. These unquiet interventions relentlessly track the feudal and paranoiac modes of social regulation that are reactivated nowadays — modulating access, banal yet hegemonic images, simulated discussions, unseen surveillance, ideological remediations, policed dissent.—RP

LAW OF ATTRACTIONS

Pixels bleed like a rose thorn lodged in a lion’s side.”Why aren’t you answering my letters?” “Because I am trying to forget you, and when one tries to forget, one does not write letters,” says Pablo in Pedro Almodóvar’s La ley del deseo. If I love you too much, I plunge into destruction, the other side of the pleasure principle. A toss of the coin. The movies in this program stage the violent and unpredictable stirrings of desire across many levels of the small-file image. Like Cupid’s well-aimed arrow, tense melodrama unfolds on the levels of pixels, gestures, silhouettes, and music and takes us out of our comfort zone into an experience of conflict. These movies linger like a haunting refrain.—RP