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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, 42: Investing in Life chronicles survival in unfavourable conditions

IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 42: Investing in Life chronicles survival in unfavourable conditions

“A film on survival of every living being in unfavorable situations like social boycott, road accidents and man-animal conflict.” This is how Vaishali Vasant Kendale, director of ‘Investing Life’, describes her 52-minute non-feature film, produced by Films Division, that was screened at the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI). In the post-screening press conference, the Director said, it should not be looked upon as a biographical film. It recognises the unconditional work of three common citizens. “They have been silently and single-handedly investing their life for years in survival of every life in surrounding areas, which leads to betterment of mankind and the ecosystem. There are many such people working at grassroots level. In return, they expect nothing”, she said. 

Speaking about the road accident sequence in the film, the director said, “I was not in favour of showing the accident taking place. It was a big challenge for me. My morals were not supporting me in shooting and showing an accident sequence to the audience. Many were opposed to this view. But, I decided to create an aura of the road accident. I used montages for it. Message of the accident was sent across this way”. The film made use of surrealism and metaphors to tell three parallel stories.

The common grassroots level people portrayed in the film are devoting their lives for others. Hence, the name ‘Investing Life’, said the Director. “Biographies are made on great people. But, every living organism and common folks have a significant role to play in our world. All such individual roles are of importance”, added Kendale, sharing her thoughts on what went behind the making of the film. 


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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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