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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



IFFI 50: Screenplay, cinematography and production design are the 3 most important--Priyadarshan

IFFI 50: Screenplay, cinematography and production design are the 3 most important--Priyadarshan

At the ongoing 50th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, the Chairperson of the Feature Films Jury of Indian Panorama Mr. Priyadarshan Nair, eminent director, along with fellow jury members Mrs. Sreelekha Mukherji, Mr. Harish Bhimani and Mr. Vinod Ganatra   and Mrs. Aarti Shrivastava and Mr. Ronel Haobam, Jury members of Non-Feature Films Section, participated in a press conference.

Opening the press conference, Chairperson Priyadarshan Nair, veter said that the jury found a huge deterioration in the quality of realistic film makers in India. “It was a difficult task but not that difficult as we thought. Viewing 314 movies in 30 days is a lot of work, but we enjoyed watching such a variety of films from across the states. Tomorrow’s film-makers have done a great job. But it has been seen that when content is good, quality might be bad and vice versa. We are happy that we don’t have to go through much controversy regarding the selection of movies this time”, he said.

In a word of advice to the new film-makers, Mr. Priyadarshan said that screenplay, cinematography and production design are the three most important aspects of good film-making.  “During our days, it was difficult to get behind a camera. Today everyone carry one camera in their pocket. In everyone’s mind there is a film. They are all making what they have it in mind. But training is missing in those people. Lot of filed work is missing. Lot of sparks can be found in the youngsters. Acquiring training and fieldwork will help to make better films”, he added.

All the jury members described the festival as an opportunity for new filmmakers to showcase their ideas. Mr. Vinod Ganatra, an editor-director who makes documentaries and children’s features, said, technology is helping film-makers from all regions, even remote parts of India to reach out to a larger audience. “Everyone getting a national platform is a great thing”, he said. “We saw some extraordinary films”, Mr. Harish Bhimani, well-known broadcaster and voice-over, added.

Mrs. Aarti Shrivastava said more funds are needed to support and celebrate the short films and the documentary filmmakers.

IFFI-2019 is showcasing films from all over the globe and Indian Panorama is a flagship section of IFFI, which showcases the best 26 contemporary Indian Feature and 15 Non Feature Films over the years.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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