Named after the practice of clandestine dissemination of censored and forbidden texts in communist states, Samizdat Eastern European Film Festival is an audience-focused film festival based in Scotland. Launched in September 2022, the festival will have its third edition in early October 2024 across various Scottish venues (Glasgow, Edinburgh, and others) and online, on the streaming platform Klassiki. With a diverse programme of meticulously curated retrospectives and new films produced within Eastern Europe and the CIS, as well as special events, Samizdat is the first Scotland-based festival dedicated exclusively to cinema from Eastern/Central Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

The Short Film Competition became part of the festival’s programme in 2023. Five selected short films competed for the Samizdat Audience Award based on audience ratings collected at in-person screenings. The first-ever winner of the award was Assel Aushakimova’s 'Comrade Policeman' (Kazakhstan, 2021).

Both previous editions of Samizdat were 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. The festival also received funding from the European Cultural Foundation (Culture of Solidarity Fund — Ukraine Special Edition) in 2022 and the William Syson Foundation in 2023.

In 2024, we are accepting short film submissions, with every selected short film receiving a £50 screening fee.

An additional £50 will be issued to the winner of Samizdat Audience Award 2024.

Please read the following terms carefully before submitting your film. Films that do not adhere to these guidelines are automatically ineligible to be considered for the Samizdat Eastern European Film Festival (further ‘Samizdat’). Films that are submitted will be considered as sent in accordance and agreement with the terms below.


• We see our festival as an amazing opportunity – particularly for early-career filmmakers – to share their short films at Scotland’s first event dedicated exclusively to Eastern European cinema. Our last year’s edition was attended by nearly 1,700 spectators, and we only expect this number to grow further.
• As our audience consists of British and Eastern European diasporic attendees who are willing to expand their knowledge of Eastern European culture, this is a chance to present your work to an audience that will truly appreciate it.
• Each selected film will be screened at the Samizdat Eastern European Film Festival in Glasgow, UK (with potential screenings in other locations) and on the online streaming platform Klassiki (UK/EU/USA) for the duration of the festival. Selected films will also be eligible for the Samizdat Audience Award -- an additional prize of £50.


• We welcome submissions from all filmmakers who associate themselves with Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We particularly welcome indigenous cinema, activist cinema, and submissions from Ukrainian filmmakers.
• We don’t accept short films funded by the Russian government or any institutions closely associated with it.
• Applicants may submit only one film.
• Applicants must have the legal rights required to submit the film they are submitting.
• All films submitted to the festival must not have been screened elsewhere in the UK (online or offline).


• The festival programme will be compiled by Samizdat’s curatorial team at the complete discretion of its members.
• Each submitted film will be viewed by at least one member of the curatorial team.
• Person(s) who submit a selected film will be notified by the Samizdat team before the announcement of the festival programme.


• Please indicate on your application whether you would require your film to be geo-locked in case it is screened online at our partner’s website.
• If you submit your film, you automatically permit Samizdat, in case of the film’s selection, to use any photos and stills and up to a minute of footage of the film in the promotional materials of the festival.
• Once the festival programme is officially announced, you can no longer withdraw your submission.


• If your short film is selected for the festival, you will be awarded a £50 screening fee. As we are a non-profit festival, this amount is not negotiable and should be carefully considered prior to submission.
• An additional £50 will be issued to the winner of Samizdat Audience Award 2024.

Please feel free to email us for any further guidance at Visit our website for further information at