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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, 11: Storyline, tight screenplay, performances are important

IFFI 53, 2022, 11: Storyline, tight screenplay, performances are important

Kurangu Pedal captures a child's interest in learning how to ride a bicycle, while his father doesn’t even know to ride a cycle. “The story kept on lingering in my mind as cycle was the one of the most intriguing things in my childhood. Learning to ride a cycle gives one confidence, and that thought pushed me to make a movie”, said Kamalakannan S., director and co-screenplay writer of the movie.

While interacting with the media and festival delegates on the side-lines of the 53rd International Film Festival of India in Goa, Kamalakannan said Kurangu Pedal captures a generation's emotional connect with bicycle.


Kamalakannan said that “Cycle reminds us of our childhood and, through the movie, the audience is also reminded of their childhood,” when asked what inspired him to make a movie about cycling. He added that the innocence of child artistes entwined with their playfulness, friendship bonds and emotions leave the viewers nostalgic.

The director, when asked about the competition from high budget movies vis-a-vis his movie, he said that it’s the storyline, tight screenplay and performances which is important for a movie to reach larger audiences.

Speaking about his experience in the film, actor Kaali Venkat accepted that despite having acted in more than 90 films in Tamil, he learnt a lot from the child artistes who have debuted in this movie. Adding to it, story-writer Rasi Alagappan expressed delight that the director has beautifully brought it on to the screen, while faithfully capturing the emotions in the story.

The film, based on Rasi Alagappan’s short story Cycle, is a contender for Golden Peacock award, in the International Competition Category at IFFI 53. The music of this visually delightful and nostalgic film has been scored by Ghibran, with child artiste Santosh playing the lead character Maari and actor Kaali Venkat playing the role of Kandasamy, his father.

About the movie

Director: Kamalakannan S.

Producer: #Montage, UVW Business Pvt Ltd.

Screenplay: Prabhakar, Kamalakannan S.

Cinematographer: Sumee Baskaran

Editor: Shivanandeeswaran

Cast: Kaali Venkat, Santosh, Ragavan, Gnanasekar, Rathish, A.E. Sai Ganesh

2022 | Tamil | Colour | 119 mins.


The movie, set in the 1980s, is about the child protagonist Maariyappan (Maari) and his quest to learn to ride a bicycle. The village sees its first cycle-on-rent shop. Denied money to take a cycle on rent, Maari clandestinely gets money from his pampering mother to rent a cycle to learn cycling and now his cycling sessions are peppered with interesting events and run-ups with strangers.

Director: Kamalakannan S. is a film director and a producer in the Tamil film industry. His directorial debut was Madhubaanakadai(2012), followed by Vattam and Kurangu Pedal (2022).

Producer: Montage is a film production company into production design, advertising, budgeting and releasing of feature films. They have produced Madhubaanakadai (2012), Kadhal Kan Kattuthe (2017) and Kurangu Pedal (2022).

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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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