Samizdat Short Film Competition 2023

Samizdat Short Film Competition 2023

We present the full programme of Samizdat Film Festival’s inaugural short film competition. Spotlighting female filmmakers from Central Asia and Poland, the selection speaks to the growing awareness of the true diversity of perspectives and voices in an often misunderstood region. Featuring a sly satire on Kazakhstan’s corrupt state media, two touching, short-form dramas about the relationships between mothers and children, an atmospheric dissection of social paranoia in Poland, and a stunning hand-drawn animation about trauma and collective memory in Central Asia.

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Samizdat Short Film Competition 2023
  • Comrade Policeman

    Directed by Assel Aushakimova • 2021 • Kazakhstan

    Assel Aushakimova (Welcome to the USA) shows why she is one of the most acute observers of contemporary Kazakh society with this droll satirical short. When a local reporter from state television is sent to capture a PR stunt from the Kazakh poli...

  • Burial

    Directed by Jerzy Czachowski • 2022 • Poland

    Jerzy Czachowski’s atmospheric and darkly comic short deftly explores themes of guilt and paranoia. An unnamed couple furtively bury a casket, only to have their secret exposed by a local farmer. From this sparse premise, Czachowski digs into Poland’s...

  • All the Dreams We Dream

    Directed by Asel Kadyrkhanova • 2020 • Kazakhstan

    This hand-drawn animation from Kazakh artist Asel Kadyrkhanova probes the relationship between memory, trauma, and national history. Based on the memoirs of poet Gafu Kairbekov, the film reimagines the accounts of survivors of the man made famine...

  • Warmth

    Directed by Klaudia Fortuniak • 2023 • Poland

    The strained relationship between a mother and her adult daughter sits at the heart of Klaudia Fortuniak’s knowingly tragicomic short. On the day of a family funeral, anxious mother Małgorzata (Ewa Skibińska) insists that her diffident daughter Zosia...

  • Ertak

    Directed by Kamila Rustambekova • 2022 • Uzbekistan

    Kamila Rustambekova’s minimalist short captures the pride and pain of maternal love. In rural Uzbekistan, the bond between two young men leads the mother of one of them to make a heartbreaking decision. Dealing in averted gazes and implied long...

  • Notes on the Samizdat Short Film Competition 2023

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