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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 51, 16-24 January, 32: June is the tale of a troubled boy and a mysterious woman

IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 32: June is the tale of a troubled boy and a mysterious woman

“Healing is Beautiful. Through our film, we want to show that if there is a part of you that's broken, if there is a part of you which needs healing, that process will happen. Be open and have a conversation.” This is the message conveyed by Directors Suhrud Godbole and Vaibhav Khisti of the Marathi film June, which has been screened in the Indian Panorama Feature Film section of the 51st edition of International Film Festival of India, being held in Goa. The Directors were addressing a press conference at the festival venue today, January 20, 2021.

Speaking about the need for conversations, Director Godbole said: "Human to human contact is more necessary than ever. Our film talks about people having conversations again. Many a time, we don't know whom to speak with, how to share what we are feeling. In a world where we individuals have become islands, all of us need someone in our life. Our attempt was to make a film very relatable to today's generation and circumstances.”

Saying that the tag line of the film is ‘Healing is Beautiful’, Godbole said that that there are many angles to it. “We need to seek out for help and healing, often, we remain in a zone of self-pity and destruction. Do not be afraid to let go of your guilt and inner demons and let the healing process start. It can make you feel better, but you have to let the process to happen”.

Vaibhav Khisti, the other director of the film, said: “Through June, we have tried to speak about a seldom-touched topic. There are lots of things we want to say through the film”.

When asked about the IFFI experience, he added: "We are happy to see the film on a big screen. Especially after the pandemic, we never knew what would happen. To come here and see it on a big screen with the IFFI audience has been the highlight. Thanks to the IFFI selection committee, for selecting our film."

Praising the IFFI organisers for infusing energy into a festival being held amidst the pandemic, Suhrud Godbole said: "Creating this energy at IFFI is really commendable."

Interacting with the media, lead actor Siddharth Menon said, "Every second was very pleasurable, and taking on a difficult role is what I like. The script came from a very intense personal space. There was something about the script that consumed me and everyone on the team, and things just moved from there."

Writer of the film, Nikhil Mahajan, spoke about the challenge in making meaningful films in the industry: “What we are trying to do is to make meaningful cinema commercially accessible.”

About June

Set against a realistic backdrop of small-town India, June addresses themes seldom touched in Indian cinema. It paints a moving portrait of a troubled boy Neel, who is haunted by guilt by an action that is defining his entire existence, and a mysterious woman Neha, who enters his life to heal him and in many ways, heal herself, too.

Director: Vaibhav Khisti, Suhrud Godbole

Producer: Blue Drop Films, Radiant pictures

Screenplay: Nikhil Mahajan

DOP: Quais Waseeq

Editor: Nikhil Mahajan, Hrishikesh Petwe

Cast: Nehha Pendse Bayas, Siddharth Menon, Resham Shrivardhan, Kiran Karmarkar, Nitin Divekar, Saurabh Pachauri

About Director Vaibhav Khisti

Vaibhav Khisti has worked as an assistant director with well-known filmmakers like Santosh Sivan, Amit Masurkar and Nikhil Mahajan.

About Director Suhrud Godbole

Suhrud Godbole is a film editor and producer of films like ‘Pune 52’, ‘Tuhya Dharma Koncha’ and ‘Baji’.


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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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