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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 53, 2022, 10: The land of jewels calls

IFFI 53, 2022, 10: The land of jewels calls

Besides Bihar, the Manipur state pavilion at IFFI 53, called Manipur Unexplored, is attracting film-makers, actors, directors and producers, to consider making films in the state. Many film-makers are visiting the state pavilion for queries regarding the facilities that the picturesque state would offer them, should they decide to shoot in the remote north-eastern state of India.


This year IIFI also celebrates the golden jubilee of Manipuri cinema. On the 9th of April, 1972, the first Manipuri feature film, Matamgi Manipur, was released. It was directed by Debkumar Bose. The journey of five decades of Manipuri cinema has been astounding and courageous, considering the resource-crunch, absence of investment on required technology, and the lack of outreach mechanism to effectively get to the audience.

The theme of the Manipur pavilion is ‘Manipur Unexplored’, and it has been managed mainly by the Manipur State Film Development Society. It calls out to the budding film-makers to explore the historical, archaeological, cultural and natural heritage of ‘the land of jewels’ (literal translation of the word Manipur), Manipur. The aim is to attract film-makers and develop the state as a preferred film-making destination.


The pavilion showcases natural beauty such as the Loktak Lake and the Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is the only floating national park in the world. The pavilion also exhibits cultural wonders, such as the Ima Market, which is the only market in the world run entirely by women.

Sunzu Bachaspatimayum, Secretary, Manipur State Film Development Society highlighted that the Manipuri culture has rich tradition of story-telling. He cited the example of Khongjom Parva which is a century old ballad singing tradition.

In 2020, the government of Manipur has come up with the state film-making policy. The policy, among other things, aims to incorporate the interest of the local people and stakeholders in the film-making process.

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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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