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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 52, 028: Bodo language film Sijou unveils brutal feudal system

IFFI 52, 028: Bodo language film Sijou unveils brutal feudal system

Hitherto unknown and unexplored, Sijou, a Bodo language film, unveils the inhuman brutality of the feudal land tenure system, prevalent across the Indo-Bhutan border, until 1958.

The film, screened at the 52nd IFFI under the Indian Panorama Feature film section, revolves around a young boy, Sijou, of Saikhong Guri village, near the Indo-Bhutan border, in Assam. His life takes an unfortunate turn when he becomes a victim of the Feudal Land Tenure System. The subsequent turn of events turns the boy into a monk.

Addressing a Press Conference, the pirector of the film, Vishal P. Chaliha said, “When I think of slavery, the picture of Africa used to come to my mind. I never knew that slavery was also prevalent right next to my home.”

He said that when the producer came to him with the concept, it touched him at once and he made up his mind to make the movie.

Talking about the preparations, the director said that he went to Bhutan and all the bordering villages, and interacted with the people.  “There was no written record available on it. It all existed only in the minds of the descendants of the victims of this brutal feudal system”, he said.

He further said that it took around six months to complete the film. The team stayed in Bhutan and the bordering villages to do the research. “The descendants narrated the story very beautifully, because of which I could form a good script”, he added.


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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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