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Siraj Syed


Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for FilmFestivals.com 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. 

 

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RIFF 2021, 07, 02: Yashpal Sharma to be awarded the Om Puri Memorial Common Man in Cinema award

RIFF 07, 2021, 02: Yashpal Sharma to be awarded the Om Puri Memorial Common Man in Cinema award The 7th edition of the Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF), accredited by the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI) (North Region) will be organised by the RIFF Film Club in a Hybrid Format, from 20 to 24th March 2021, in Jaipur and Jodhpur, Rajasthan - India. This year the theme for the RIFF 2021 is "Music in Cinema". RIFF 2021 will also celebrate the Pre-Foundation Day o...

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 12: Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro to get Lifetime Achievement award

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 12: Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro to get Lifetime Achievement award              The 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will honour the Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, at the opening ceremony, scheduled to be held tomorrow (January 16, 2021). He is well-known for the film The Bird with th...

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January 2021, 11: OTT to serve highlights and varied fare

  IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January 2021, 11: OTT to serve highlights and varied fare The 51st Edition of Asia’s oldest and India’s biggest festival, The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which is to be held in Goa from 16th January to 24th January 2021, has announced a line-up of programmes that will be showcased on the OTT platform during the festival. Taking into account the ongoing Covid 19 Corona Pandemic, the International Film Festival of India...

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 10: Much-awaited list of World Panorama films is out

  IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 10: Much-awaited list of World Panorama films is out The 51st Edition of International Film Festival of India has yesterday unveiled the list of films under the World Panorama section. The line-up consists of fifty films, from across the world. Savour this. Film Name Director Country Only Human Igor Ivanov Macedonia ...

IFFI 51, January 16-24, 2021, Goa, 09: Khisa is a tale about loss of innocence and coming-of-age

IFFI 51, January 16-24, 2021, Goa, 09: Khisa is a tale about loss of innocence and coming-of-age India's Marathi short film Khisa (Pocket) is now making its way to India, after winning international awardsso many international awards. ''Khisa''short film has been Officially Selected in the Indian Panorama, for 51st International Film Festival of India, Goa 2021.  The film is Directed by Raj More, under the Banner of PP Cine Production, Mumbai and Laaltippa Film...

IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 08: The kaleidoscope dozen

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  IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 08: The kaleidoscope dozen International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has today announced the line-up of films for its Festival Kaleidoscope. The section will feature 12 films from across the world. The line-up consists of the following movies: We Still Have the Deep Black Night by Gustavo Galvão (Brazil, Germany)     Window Boy Would also Like to Have a Submarine by Alex Piperno (Uruguay)       ...

IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 07: South Indian component of the Indian Panorama

IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 07: South Indian component of the Indian Panorama The glad tidings for the South Indian fans is that nine remarkable and appreciated South Indian films are selected to be featured at the Indian Panorama of IFFI, in which six feature, two mainstream cinema and one non-feature will be showcased. Here is a list of selected South Indian Movies FEATURED FILMS: Safe (Malayalam) Director – Pradeep Kalipurayath Synopsis – A social activist called Ar...

IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 06: Treat of choice Marathi films, features and shorts

IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 06: Treat of choice Marathi films, features and shorts The 51st Edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is all-set to be held in Goa from 16th January to 24th January, 2021. It’s time to rejoice for Marathi film lovers, as six powerful and thought-provoking Marathi movies, 3 feature and 3 non-feature films, have been selected to be showcased in the Indian Panorama section of the prestigious event. With an aim of providing a common p...

IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 05: Line up of movies for international competition

IFFI 51, Goa, January 16-24, 2021, 05: Line up of movies for international competition 51st International Film Festival of India has released the line-up of international movies for competition during the festival. The best feature length fiction films from all over the world are selected to compete in the section. It is one of the most important sections of the festival that features some of the most outstanding films of the year, and these 15 films compete for the Golden Peacock, and other...

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January 2021, 04: Pablo Cesar to Chair International Jury

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January 2021, 04: Pablo Cesar to Chair International Jury The 51st edition of International Film Festival of India announced its five-member International Jury today, with eminent film-makers from across the world. The Jury will comprise Pablo Céésar (Argentina) as Chairman, Prasanna Vithanage (Sri Lanka), Abu Bakr Shawky (Austria), Priyadarshan (India) and Ms. Rubaiyat Hossain (Bangladesh). Pablo César is an Argentinian film-maker. He has the critica...

RIFF 7, Jaipur-Jodhpur, 20-24 March, 01: First list of films announced

RIFF 7, Jaipur-Jodhpur, 20-24 March, 01: First list of films announced RIFF - Rajasthan International Film Festival, is an organisation in the area of international cinema, initiated by RIFF FILM CLUB, a non-profit organisation , which has made and will continue to make will make endeavours towards imparting a novel identity to the world cinema, through conducting film festivals in Rajasthan every year. The organisation will make attempts to connect the world cinema with the common public and...

IFFI 51, 2021, Goa, 16-24 January, 03: Minister Javadekar announces the selection of films in the Indian Panorama

IFFI 51, 2021, Goa, 16-24 January, 03: Minister Javadekar announces the selection of films in the Indian Panorama Information and Broadcasting Minister of the Government of India, Prakash Javadekar has announced the selection of 23 Feature and 20 non-feature films in Indian Panorama for the 51st International Film Festival of India, IFFI. The I&B Ministry organises the annual festival, through its Directorate of Film Festivals, along with the Government of Goa, in Panaji Goa. The annual ...

51st IFFI, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 02: Opening, closing and mid-fest films announced

51st IFFI, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 02: Opening, closing and mid-fest films announced Another Round, by Thomas Vinterberg, will be opening film. The movie, starring Cannes Best Actor Award winner Mads Mikkelsen, is among a star-studded line up of movies being showcased at IFFI. The movie is also Denmark’s official entry to the Oscars. The festival will also witness the World Première of Mehrunisa. The film, by Sandeep Kumar, will première mid-fest. Starring formidable ...

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 01: Eagerly-awaited cinema fest coming-up soon, in testing times

IFFI 51, Goa, 16-24 January, 2021, 01: India's eagerly-awaited cinema fest coming-up soon, in testing times 51st IFFI, scheduled for 16th -24th January 2021, is coming-up in less than two weeks. It is organised, as usual, by the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, through the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Government of India, in collaboration with the Government of Goa, through the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), and the Indian Film Industry. International Film Fe...

Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, Review: Heavy load to carry

Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, Review: Heavy load to carry It is difficult to decide what was more burdensome: sitting through the film or reviewing it for the benefit of unsuspecting prospective audiences. There is just too much happening, a lot of it without logic, over the two hours 19 minutes that Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari spans. In the hands of a competent editor, the two hours would end in the bin and the 19 minutes would then make an interesting TV episode. This is one of the films wherein an item...

That Sunday, Review: Rape is feign

That Sunday, Review: Rape is feign A piece of jazz lets you in on the scene wherein the actor is watching cartoons, with a remote control in his hand and nodding his head. He is a middle-aged man, totally submerged in the antics on his small screen. Meanwhile, a child gets dressed, obviously to go to school. He then comes into the room of the man and announces to his “Papa” that he is “going”, half implying that he is quitting the home altogether. You begin to wonder w...

Lunch With My Friend’s Wife, Review: Not with his friend’s wife

Lunch With My Friend’s Wife, Review: Not with his friend’s wife That is a dilemma and a conundrum. Firstly, the lunch takes just a few seconds of the 15 minute 13 second film. Secondly, it is not with the central character’s friend’s wife, as the title suggests. That means taking huge liberties with the narrative genre. Lunch With My Friends Wife plots two intertwined story lines, one being the apparently straight narrative, while the other a blend of flashback and the...

Footfairy, Review: Feet loosened and fancy freed

Footfairy, Review: Feet loosened and fancy freed You won’t get it at first reading. The adage is ‘foot-loose and fancy free’. But my take on it is in the context of the serial murder mystery, in which the killer strangulates the victim with a plastic bag, causing asphyxia and then saws off her feet. Yes, her feet. Feet loosened and fancy (life) freed. He does more, like dumping the body in a suit-case, not far from the scene of the crime. Since the victim is always a young ...

Aashram Grih-Pravesh, Overview: Lacks originality, packs technicality

Aashram Grih-Pravesh, Overview: Lacks originality, packs technicality Aashram is a nine-episode web series currently streaming on MX player, released on 28th August, and available for watching free. It is an MX Original Production. Episodes vary in duration from 45 to 55 minutes. Based in the fictional city of Kashipur, there is an empire created by a self-proclaimed Godman, Kashipur Wale Baba Nirala, who derives his power from the influence he has over the lower strata of the society. There...

My Client’s Wife, Review: What you see is not what you get

With its lead players putting up pretences throughout the film, it is easy to label the film pretentious. To be fair, it is not pretentious. There is an element of sincerity in the making. My Client’s Wife is potentially full of sexual encounters, only the makers have been careful to keep it ‘clean’. But as is the problem with psychological thrillers, there are too many red herrings and deviations from the plot just to cause shock and awe. Is it based on a true story? The mak...

Widow of Silence, Review: Half-lives, half-wives

Widow of Silence, Review: Half-lives, half-wives Since it is based on many true stories, it is easy to consider Widow of Silence as an amalgamated biopic. Though the central character and her plight may be an amalgam of several of her sisters living in the god-forsaken heaven on earth, rural Kashmir, it works as a personal story too, using the larger picture as a backdrop. Unfortunately, though, besides highlighting the suffering of women whose husbands have been picked-up and taken away, nev...

Aneek Chaudhuri’s Malayalam film Katti Nrittam in Marche du film, Cannes 2020

Aneek Chaudhuri’s Malayalam film Katti Nrittam in Marche du film, Cannes 2020 Katti Nrittam is a modern-day adaptation of Mahabharata, where a major part of the shooting took place in Kolkata. In December 2019, the film’s script got included in the OSCARS’ Margaret Herrick Library, where Aneek’s previous film Cactus is also a part. This year, Festival de Cannes will be held on a virtual platform and is taking place from June 22-26, 2020. Most importantly, most of the ...

Dates announced for FID Marseille 22-26 July! / FIDLab 6-10 July 2020

With all our heart to the events that have been forced to cancel or go entirely online, we are in solidarity with their forced decisions and salute their work and their formidable reactivity.   After many hypotheses, after implementation in various forms already under way - and all this will only have been possible thanks to the unconditional support of all our public partners, whom we would like to thank warmly and whose constancy and complicity we would like to salute - allow us to ...

Nina Mehta’s 6th Death Anniversary (12th April 1942-26th April 2014)

Nina Mehta’s 6th Death Anniversary (12th April 1942-26th April 2014) They were the earliest ghazal-singing couple I knew, Nina and Rajendra Mehta. Ladies come first, was the rule back in the late 60s. Born into a Baroda-rooted Gujarati business family, Nina Shah studied at Wilson College, Mumbai, where the family had settled. Winning the Inter-Collegiate Singing Competition four times in a row, she made her radio debut in Ovaltine Phulwari, which was a singing talent weekly show anchore...

Robibaar, Review: Sad, sombre, somnolent, sepulchral Sunday

Robibaar, Review: Sad, sombre, somnolent, sepulchral Sunday It is a Sunday. Not an ordinary Sunday, an eventful Sunday. For the female protagonist, it begins like any ordinary Sunday, a deceptively ordinary Sunday. Except for a strange dream that wakes her up, everything else seems like every Sunday. Till she goes to the neighbourhood café, for her routine breakfast. For the male protagonist, this Sunday could be the most important day in fifteen years, and it all begins when he walks ...

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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 FilmFestivals.com 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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