Still from “Mask Off,” Ilvs Strauss, Vancouver, Canada, 2020.

Small File Media Festival

August 10 – 20, 2020 | Online
$1 membership & by donation
Get tickets HERE
Live-streaming events
Opening festivities: August 10, 2:00 PM PDT
Awards ceremony: August 20, 2:00 PM PDT
Small-file production roundtables: August 13 & 18, 2:00 PM PDT / Facebook

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 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! And we’ve got porn—because streaming porn is responsible for 0.3% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Our programming committee, which includes Festival co-organizers Sophia Biedka and Joey Malbon, artist Faune Ybarra, media scholar Radek Przedpełski, IT engineer Alejandro Rodriguez-Silva, and Festival founder Laura U. Marks, is curating all these tiny movies into aesthetically satisfying thematic programs.

Programs will be available on our Vimeo platform August 10 – 20, 2020, by paying a $1 membership and optional donation. Donations will support the Second Annual Small File Media Festival. All artists receive a rental fee.

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

Contact us:


  • 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!) 
  • Narrative
  • Documentary
  • Porn
  • Sports
  • Cat videos
  • Animation
  • GIFs
  • ‘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!

The Small File Media Festival grows out of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, on unceded Coast Salish territory of the –Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations. We are grateful for funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

August 20, 2020