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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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IFFI 52, 010: A docu about Assam Police’s first female commando force

IFFI 52, 010: A docu about Assam Police’s first female commando force Veerangana means a brave female, someone who can fight for their rights. “A strong woman not only protects herself, but protects others too”, said Shri Kishore Kalita, director and producer of the Assamese documentary film, Veerangana, while addressing a press conference at the 52nd International Film Festival of India, being held in Goa. Veerangana has been selected for the Indian Panorama section in the...

IFFI 52, 09: Homage to stalwarts of Indian cinema

IFFI 52, 09: Homage to stalwarts of Indian cinema Legendary actors Dilip Kumar, Puneet Rajkumar, Nedumudi Venu and Surekha Sikhri among others whose life and work are being to be celebrated at IFFI 52. The 52nd International Film Festival of India, will pay homage to the stalwarts of Indian cinema whom the film industry lost in the recent past. The festival will celebrate their life and work by screening their noted films. Legendary  actor Dilip Kumar’s Devdas, di...

IFFI 52, 08: 18 glorious films to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence

IFFI 52, 08: 18 glorious films to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence To reminisce about and to celebrate the glory of Indian cinema, the 52nd International Film Festival of India will showcase 18 selected films across the nation under the banner India@75. This is being organised as a part of the ongoing celebrations to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence, ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Amrit means elixir of life in Hindi. It also means 75th anniversary. They span...

IFFI 52, 08: 18 glorious films to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence

IFFI 52, 08: 18 glorious films to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence To reminisce about and to celebrate the glory of Indian cinema, the 52nd International Film Festival of India will showcase 18 selected films across the nation under the banner India@75. This is being organised as a part of the ongoing celebrations to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence, ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Amrit means necatar in Hindi. It also means 75th anniversary. They span the re...

IFFI 52, 07: Sports films score four goals at IFFI

IFFI 52, 07: Sports films score four goals at IFFI Showing sportsmanship spirit at its finest, four inspirational films about sports are being screened at the Sports Section of the 52nd Edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, which begins tomorrow. At a time when sports competitions are being celebrated globally on a huge scale, movies based on sports have always attracted cine-goers due to their portrayal of true grit, determination, adrenaline rushes and camarade...

IFFI 52, 06: Campion’s The Power of the Dog to be mid-fest film

IFFI 52, 06: Campion’s The Power of the Dog to be mid-fest film New Zealander Jane Campion, who has won international recognition with such well-crafted films like Sweetie, An Angel at My Table and The Piano, and deals mainly with family relationships, has moved away slightly, into the Western genre, with The Power of the Dog, a 2021 production. IFFI 52 is showcasing it as its mid-fest film. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Based on a1967 novel of the same name, by Thoma...

IFFI 52, 05: Lifetime Achievement Award for Szabó, Scorsese; Saura’s The King of all the World, opening film

IFFI 52, 05: Lifetime Achievement Award for Szabó, Scorsese; Saura’s The King of all the World, opening film Legendary Hungarian film-maker István Szabó and veteran Hollywood figure Martin Scorsese will be honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at IFFI 52. 83 year-old Szabó is a graduate of the Budapest Academy of Film Art, and is known for such classics as 25 Fireman Street, which was an IFFI favourite, Mephisto and his latest, Zár&...

Ripples, Review: Subtly, gently

Ripples, Review: Subtly, gently Ripples is a film about Muslim women of Xinjiang, who now live in Yiwu, and how they miss their homeland. While China is universally acknowledged as a military and economic super-power, prejudices and misconceptions about the country’s internal matters abound. One such contentious issue is the plight of the Uyghur (Uighur) Muslims, who form a large part of the population of its Xinjiang province, in the north-west, an autonomous region, like Tibet. It is...

India’s Ministry of Tourism holds Seminar on Film Tourism

India’s Ministry of Tourism holds Seminar on Film Tourism India's Ministry of Tourism in association with Ministry of Information & Broadcasting organised a Symposium on Film Tourism at Taj Land’s End, Mumbai, on November 8, 2021. The symposium aimed to promote Film Tourism by exploring opportunities available in the states for conducting film shootings.  What is Film Tourism? ‘Film Tourism’ is when a viewer gets induced to visit a particular location af...

IFFI 52, 04: List of all 24 Indian Panorama films and 20 Documentaries announced

IFFI 52, 04: List of all 24 Indian Panorama films and 20 Documentaries announced Semkhor, the first ever film to be made in the Dimasa language of North-East India, will be the inaugural feature film while Ved, the Visionary, directed by Rajiv Prakash, will be the inaugural documentary film. The main objective of the Indian Panorama is to select films and documentaries produced by Indian producers, for which the criteria are excellence in film production, concept and other aesthetics. The be...

IFFI 52, 03: Call for entries in the special Goan section

IFFI 52, 03: Call for entries in the special Goan section The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), which co-organises IFFI Goa, has announced a special Goan section Konkani/Marathi feature and non-feature films, for the 52nd International Film Festival of India(IFFI), Goa which is scheduled to be held in Panaji-Goa from 20th to 28th November 2021. The aim of the Special Goan Première and Non-Première Sections Konkani/Marathi Feature and Non-Feature Films for the 52nd IFFI is to s...

Babloo Bachelor, Review: Bachelor and the marriage lure

Babloo Bachelor, Review: Bachelor and the marriage lure Of all the themes that have been chosen for making Hindi films over the last several decades, marriage is the most common. Till the dawn of the 21st century, a host of film scripts were woven around the boy-meets-girl, they cannot marry due to a plethora of reasons, the most common being inequality of status, a villain was added for effect, and it all ended well. Now, with mobile phones, social media, so many mixed marriages and live-ins...

Splendid Land, Review: Xinjiang is a many splendoured place

Splendid Land, Review: Xinjiang is a many splendoured place The China-Greece co-production documentary, Splendid Land, directed by Eleni Vlassi and Jin Huaqing, presents the wonderful land of Xinjiang, China and its ancient customs, through a musician pursuing the Mukam music and the spectacular landscape.  Seldom has so much splendour been captured in such a short span. The film is only twenty minutes long, but it flows along seamlessly, and when it ends, you are left craving for more. ...

MAMI 22, 02: Entries invited

MAMI 22, 02: Entries invited Mumbai Academy of Moving Image is holding its 22nd Mumbai Film Festival during March 11-15, 2022. Entries are now open. You can submit your film in the following sections: India Gold / Spotlight Completed after 1st December 2020 Made by directors who are either an Indian citizen/Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)/Person of Indian Origin (PIO) At least one of the producers is an Indian citizen At least 50 minutes in length Not screened publicly in India before ...

Dilli Kaand, Review: Those that rape and those that gape

Dilli Kaand, Review: Those that rape and those that gape When a film is delayed six years in its release, its fate is more or less sealed. Dilli Kaand was launched in August 2015 and sees the light of day on 24 September 2021. Of course, the delay of the last 18 months can be attributed to the Covid 19 Coronavirus pandemic, when cinema-halls remained shut, but the six-year delay cannot be explained by Covid. Even now, cinema halls have only opened in some states of India, with conditions impo...

FIPRESCI-India calls for Entries for the Chidananda Dasgupta Memorial Award for Best Film Criticism

FIPRESCI-India calls for Entries for the Chidananda Dasgupta Memorial Award for Best Film Criticism To commemorate the Birth Centenary of their Founder President, Chidananada Dasgupta (Born: 20 Nov 1921), FIPRESCI India calls for the competition on film criticism, 2021. ֍ Organised by: FIPRESCI-India (India Chapter of the International Federation of Film Critics: FIPRESCI) ֍ Cash Value for the Best Awards: Best= Rs.6,000/- and 2nd Best= Rs.4,000/- ֍ Certificate of Merit: Besides the awa...

IFFI 52, 02: Entries close on 31 August

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IFFI 52, 02: Entries close on 31 August There is still time to enter your films for the 52nd International Film Festival of India, which will be held in a hybrid format during November 20-28, 2021, in Panaji, Goa, Western India. The last date for submission of Online Application is 31st August, 2021. International entries are accepted if they conform to the following rules: NOTE: Classroom and advertising films are not eligible for participation in any section. NOTE: Final screening ma...

MAMI 22, 01: Priyanka Chopra Jonas new Chairperson, Festival in March 2022, No international competition

MAMI 22, 01: Priyanka Chopra Jonas new Chairperson, Festival in March 2022, No international competition Mumbai Academy of Moving Image has unveiled plans for 2021-22. The blueprint for the next film festival will feature new leadership and a new creative vision that is attuned to the radical changes the world has witnessed in the last two years. Taking over the reins as Chairperson is actor, producer and author Priyanka Chopra Jonas. She was unanimously nominated by MAMI’s Board of Tru...

IFFI 52, 01: It’s happening

IFFI 52, 01: It’s happening The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is one of Asia’s oldest and India’s biggest international film festivals. The 52nd edition of IFFI will be held during 20-28 November, in a hybrid format, considering the success of the 51st edition, in January 2021. The Festival is being organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India in collaboration with the State Government of Go...

Cinemasthan in Rajasthan: A RIFF Film Club initiative

Cinemasthan in Rajasthan: A RIFF Film Club initiative Cinemasthan is an Online Over-the-Top (OTT) video streaming platform initiated by RIFF Film Club. Cinemasthan primarily focusses on Rajasthani Language content, and also offers Short Films, Music Video Albums, Feature films, Documentary Films, Animation Films & Regional Films, from India and abroad. Cinemasthan is Rajasthan's first local OTT Platform which has a highly evolved video streaming technology and pays high attention to t...

RIFF Film Club invites entries for Student Smartphone Short Film Contest

RIFF Film Club invites entries for Student Smartphone Short Film Contest It's a great opportunity for all school as well as college-going students. Entries are invited to empower the story-teller inside the students, through film-making, with smartphones. There are two categories in the contest, i.e. Category A - Juniors (age up to 18 years) & Category B - Seniors (age 18 and above). The top winner from each category will get a direct entry to the Official Selection in the Student...

FIPRESCI-India announces its Grand Prix winner for 2020

FIPRESCI-India announces its Grand Prix winner for 2020 FIPRESCI-India (India chapter of the International Federation of Film Critics: FIPRESCI) declared the Tamil Feature Film Nasir, directed by Arun Karthick, as the Winner of the prestigious Grand-Prix-2020, according to a Press Release issued last week, by V.K. Joseph, President, FIPRESCI-India. Members of FIPRESCI-India have voted Nasir as the Best Indian Feature Film of 2020 out of the following TOP-10 films nominated for the final ro...

The Courier, Review: Delivers on time

The Courier, Review: Delivers on time A spy story with no fights, no gadgets, agents who neither carry guns nor seduce each other, The Courier is a hark-back to the genre that can be traced at least to deglamourised espionage outings like The Ipcress File and Funeral in Berlin, way back in the 60s. It’s not positioned as a competitor for the James Bond or Mission Impossible series, or their spin-offs, and is, in fact, based on a true story. Unwavering focus on the plot, and all round co...

RIFF 7, 2021, 6: Third and Final list of films announced; France to be country of focus

RIFF 7, 2021, 6: Third and Final list of films announced; France to be country of focus The third and the final list of films of the 7th Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) was released yesterday, which includes the Kannada film "Avalakki Pavalakki", Directed by Durga Prasad and Produced by Ranjitha Subramanya, "Kagaaz", Directed by Satish Kaushik and Produced by Salma Khan, Nishant Kaushik and Vikas Malu (presented by Salman Khan), a Documentary film, "...

Breaking News in Yuba County, Review: Last one standing gets the millions

Breaking News in Yuba County, Review: Last one standing gets the millions It’s genre-defying film, with a most unlikely protagonist, and several parallel tracks, all intertwined. Re-affirming the myth that, in America, anybody can get away with anything, and that killing and violence are about as common as pizza and burgers, Breaking News in Yuba County makes a messed-up attempt to say that amidst all this mayhem, loyalty to your wife and love for her are values worth cherishing. But it...

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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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