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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. 



Siraj Syed’s IFFI 2016 diary, XII: Award-winners of Golden and Silver Peacocks

Siraj Syed’s IFFI 2016 diary, XII: Award-winners of Golden and Silver Peacocks

In the curtailed International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which has shrunk from 15 to 9 days over the last 30 years, the closing ceremony was held on the 28th of November. Partly due to the fact that I have come to be less patient with speeches and formalities and partly in protest at the non-receipt of an invitation to the closing film screening, I decided to skip the ceremony, like I had skipped the opening fixture. Nevertheless, I was happy that a film a liked a lot won the main prize.


The International Competition section had a total of 15 entrants, of which two were from India. Judging them was an International Jury, headed by Czech writer-director Ivan Passer and comprised Larry Smith (UK), Lordan Zafranovic (Croatia), Leila Kilani (Morocco) and Nagesh Kukunoor (India). In addition, eight other movies competed with each other for the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award.

Here are the carpetbaggers;

*Best Film: Iranian film Daughter, directed by Reza Mirkarimi. Peacock statuette and a cash prize of Rs. 40 lakh (4 million) were awarded to the winner. (It’s a good film, not great, but still good enough. Wonder what the competition was like. I was exposed to just Mellow Mud, which was too mellow to keep me glued.)

*Best Director(s): Soner Caner and Baris Kaya for Turkish Film Rauf. Co-directors Soner Caner and Baris Kaya shared the Best Director award for this film. The award includes Rs 15 lakh, a citation and Silver Peacock Trophy.

*Best Actor (Male) Award: Farhad Aslani for Iranian film Daughter. Prize money of Rs.10 lakh was given to the awardee, along with the Silver Peacock Trophy.

*Best Actor (Female) Award: Elina Vaska for Latvian film Mellow Mud. She too received the Silver Peacock and Rs.10 Lakhs as the award.

*Special Jury Award: South Korean movie The Throne by Lee Joon-Ik. A special citation, a Silver Peacock, and a cash prize of Rs.15 lakh.

*The ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Award: Mustafa Kara, for Turkish film, Cold of Kalandar, a Turkish-Hungarian film.

* The ICFT UNESCO Special Mention Award: Tiffany Hsiung, for The Apology. The multi-lingual film The Apology, by Canadian filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung, received a Special Mention in the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal Competition. The medal bears a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, etched alongside his message ‘in the midst of darkness light prevails.

*Centenary Award for the Best Debut Film of a Director: Pepa San Martin for the Spanish film Ra Ra.


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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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