Fourth edition

Fourth edition

Small File Media Festival

October 19, 2023
Fourth edition
October 20–30, 2023, 7pm
Small File Media Festival
@ The Cinematheque
1131 Howe Street
Vancouver British Columbia V6Z 2K8
Instagram / Facebook

The Small File Media Festival returns for its fourth iteration of eco-conscious moving-image artistry in-person October 20–21 and continues online October 22–30. This year’s festival showcases over sixty jewel-like works from artists and filmmakers across the globe. Characterized by their small digital footprint and huge environmental impact, these small-file ecomedia embrace the aesthetics of file compression and low resolution and lay the groundwork for a new experimental cinema movement in the digital age. 

The in-person festival at Vancouver’s The Cinematheque kicks off on Friday, October 20 at 7pm with the opening night program, followed by a reception in the lobby and a performance by Vancouver electronic artist SAN. The winners of the coveted Small File Golden Mini Bear will be announced during the award ceremony following the final program on October 21. The festival programs will stream online on the Small File Media Festival website ( October 22–30. 

Why small files? Because streaming media is killing the planet! Streaming comprises a significant chunk of the world’s digital carbon footprint. Information and communication technologies as a whole cause 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions—that’s the same as the airline industry—and are rising fast. How small is a small-file movie? No more than 1.44 megabytes per minute, the storage size of a floppy disk. Small-file creators use ingenious techniques to make these tiny movies beautiful and effective. We invite you to lean in, open your eyes and attune your ears, and prepare to experience a new cinematic avant-garde.

Small-file ecomedia are not just good for the planet, but essential for people living with intermittent electricity and low bandwidth—so long to the 4K, 5G dystopia of bandwidth imperialism! This year we’re especially proud to collaborate with filmmaker and researcher Mehvish Rather, who on October 21 will share her research on how small-file media can be utilized for political sustainability in the face of state suppression that takes the form of internet blockade and restriction.

Festival events also include SFMF founding member Radek Przedpełski’s live and streaming talk on small-file philosophy on October 18. On October 23 the live and streaming Tactical Media Panel featuring contributions from Egyptian filmmaker Mena El Shazly, Palestinian filmmaker Razan AlSalah, interdisciplinary artist and member of the UKRAiNATV collective Rom Dziadkiewicz, and SFMF founding member Radek Przedpełski. On October 25 and 27 the streaming Small File Maker’s Forum returns to invite participants to gather and share small-file methods, artistic compression techniques and processes related to the showcased works,  moderated by Yani Kong, Joey Malbon and Radek Przedpełski.

Founded in 2020 by Laura Marks, The Small File Media Festival (SFMF) responds to the environmental and ecological impact of streaming media. The festival proposes alternative solutions for media practice, as well as modes of thinking otherwise in media theory, which converge in an annual festival of sustainable experimental media. 

The Cinematheque, founded in 1972, is a film institute and media education centre devoted to understanding the art and history of Canadian and international cinema and the impact of moving images and screen-based media in our lives. Their public activities include a year-round calendar of curated film exhibitions devoted to important classic and contemporary films and filmmakers, as well as an array of community outreach programs. 

Gala performance by SAN: October 20, 8:30–10pm
Vancouver electronic artist SAN performs opening night with support from hip hop artist Xol333

Talk: Mehvish Rather: October 21, 11am–12pm
Mehvish Rather on small file filmmaking, political sustainability, and resistance

Tactical Media Panel: October 23, 10am–12pm
A hybrid panel featuring Mena El Shazly, Razan AlSalah, Rom Dziadkiewicz and Radek Przedpełski. In-person at The Cinematheque and online.

Smal-File Maker’s Forum 1: October 25, 10am–12pm
Festival artists share their experiences with small-file ecomedia aesthetics and techniques.

Small-File Maker’s Forum 2: October 27, 10am–12pm
Festival artists share their experiences with small-file ecomedia aesthetics and techniques.

More information

Contact: info [​at​]
Small File Media Festival programs at The Cinematheque are unrated and 18+ screenings. 

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Small File Media Festival
October 19, 2023

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