Small File 2020

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!

Audience choice  

First Place:
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 works in defense of the tiny image, to riff with Hito Steyerl’s earlier phrase. Size matters, and small is better, tiny is best, which is not merely to argue for a different aesthetics or narrative structures (that too) but also for an understanding that all media is media ecology – and as such, directly related to infrastructures with environmental costs.”
– Professor Jussi Parikka, media scholar, University of Southampton and Academy of Performing Arts, Prague”

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.


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