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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, 042: The awards, BRICS by BRICS

IFFI 52, 042: The awards, BRICS by BRICS

South African Film Barakat by Director Amy Jephta and Russian Film The Sun Above Me Never Sets, by director Lyubov Borisova, has shared the Best film Award, in the sixth edition BRICS Film Festival. For the first time, the BRICS Film Festival was held alongside the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa. 

The awards were given to these films for their brilliant cinematic portrayal of human emotions and magnificent storytelling on screen.

Commenting on the excellence of the films and the talents, Rahul Rawail, BRICS Jury Chairperson, said, “The Jury this year had some very able people and what we realised during the process was that though we are of different cultures, when we watch the films, we are all the same. That is the way this world should be.”

The Best film, Barakat, South Africa’s official submission for Best International Feature at the 94th Academy Awards of 2022, is a dramatic comedy about an aging matriarch who aims to bring together her fractured dysfunctional family, over the Eid festival, to break the news about her new romance. The film has won many awards in various international film festivals.

The other Best Film Award winner, The Sun Above Me Never Sets, narrates the story of a young man who tries to reinvigorate the zeal to live life in an old man, so that he can see his lost daughter. The film, which is a comedy drama, is an inspiring work of fiction from Russia.

The Best Director award was won by Brazilian film-maker Lúcia Murat for her documentary film, Ana. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Murat is a strong voice arising from Brazil's new cinematic landscape. Her film speaks about strong and brave women who fight odd battles, and goes beyond the lines drawn by society, to find their identities. 

Indian actor Dhanush won the Best Actor (Male) award for his role in Asuran, a film on a farmer father-son duo (both played by Dhanush) who fights against the archaic systems of the society. Dhanush’s brilliant depiction of the raw and rustic portrayal has already won many accolades.

Brazilian actress Lara Boldorini was honoured with the Best Actor (Female) Award for her film On Wheels, a rousing on-road tale of a search for a father-figure.

In addition, a Jury Special Mention Award was presented to director Yan Han for his film A Little Red Flower, from China. The film portrays a realistic romantic story of an ordinary person who chooses love and kindness in the face of death.

Rahul Rawail said, “When we came to decide on the award winners, all the jury members were, practically, on the same page.”

This year, IFFI has brought together five major emerging economies and leading film production countries of the world. The Jury for this competitive festival comprised five members, one from each BRICS country. The Jury made the selection for the awards under the five categories after examining twenty films, which were showcased for the sixth BRICS Film Festival.


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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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