I'm Andrew. I write about the past and future of tech, music, media, culture, art, and activism. This is my blog.

The Oldest Active Torrent

Posted: October 24, 2023

If there are two things I’m known for, probably, it’s talking about independent media production and media archival. My story today comes from the confluence of both. The oldest continually seeded torrent just turned 20 years old, and it is a matrix fan film. Watch:

“THE FANIMATRIX: RUN PROGRAM” - a New Zealand fan film set in “The Matrix” universe which was released in 2003.

Shot for only $500US, it was featured prominently on Slashdot.org, garnering the film’s website with nearly 3 million hits during the first 5 days (with 70,000 downloads in that same period), and is also remembered for being an early contributor to the popularity of the BitTorrent file-distribution system.

With an estimated 5 million downloads since 2003, it is arguably New Zealand’s most widely seen short film and one of the most popular Matrix fan films to date.

From the official Vimeo page

I heard about the film when it was released, but our home internet at the time was not fast enough or consistently available enough to watch it. I had forgotten about it entirely until earlier today when someone uploaded it to our new Community Media peertube server.

With the grim future of youtube, it’s almost heartwarming to see something that has been kept alive on the internet independently for more than 20 years.

I’m working on a longer piece about fan films, transnational adaptations, and modern folklore. The Fanimatrix will slip right in to that piece, but in the meantime, I thought it was worth sharing here.

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