Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-12midnight, Sun-Mon: Closed

Samizdat Eastern European Film Festival

Central Asian Women's Short Film Collection

Sat 16 September 2023

Tickets no longer available

English subtitling

A female reporter in a winter coat with a mic by a van: ‘appointments on the street’ written in Russian & Kazakh

Central Asian Women's Short Film Collection

Samizdat presents a collection of short films directed by Central Asian women, featuring works from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, including an animation, a comedy sketch, a queer romance, an ethnographic documentary, and an artwork composed of archival propaganda footage.

Cereals, a nearly lost work by Mayram Yusupova never before screened in the UK, is a colourful ethnographic documentary telling about rural life and culture in Soviet Tajikistan.

Assel Aushakimova’s Comrade Policeman is a satirical expose of Kazakh police bureaucracy based on real television news stories and a miserable PR campaign aimed at ‘improving the public image of the police’.

Her Right — one of the latest works by Central Asia’s most acclaimed contemporary video-artist exhibited at Tate and Eye Film Museum — is a poetic silent documentary made of archival footage, where Ismailova revisits the memory of the ‘Hujum’, a women’s emancipation campaign in 1920s’ Uzbekistan. Expressionistic editing and sound adds onto the propaganda footage a new, unexpected, female-centred emotion, questioning the price the Uzbekistani society paid for its europeanisation.

Fairy Tale, director and photographer Kamila Rustambekova’s first film, tells about a young gay man living in an Uzbek village with his mother. His neighbours are constantly discussing him, which makes his mother ashamed to go outside. The boy faces a difficult choice: to stay with his mother or flee to another country for the sake of freedom and safety?

All the Dreams We Dream is a hand-drawn animation by filmmaker, artist, and scholar Asel Kadyrkhanova, which reworks two memoirs by the Kazakh poet Gafu Kairbekov (1928-1994) on his encounters with the victims of the Kazakh famine of 1930-1933, a catastrophe that shattered the very foundations of the Kazakh nomadic society. The film focuses on the subtle animal/human and human/non-human boundaries, asking how stories of violence and pain should be told so that we can tolerate them. It studies the idea of empathy and fear, asking how we remember catastrophic events and those who perished. What remains in the collective memory when evidence is erased and stories are silenced?

Samizdat is supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery funding from the BFI.

English subtitles, partial SDH captions (only for Comrade Policeman, Fairy Tale, All the Dreams We Dream)

Financial support to attend the festival is available to eligible applicants via Samizdat's Access Fund.

Content notes: homophobia, famine, death, depictions and discussions of trauma and grief, state oppression.

Access notes: flashing lights, occasional loud noises (sirens, clanging), some verbal storytelling, occasional black-and-white cinematography.




Event Type





5:20pm — 6:46pm





Tickets: £0/£2/£4/£6/£8

Booking fee: 10%


English subtitling

Tickets no longer available