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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. 

 

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Ice, Review: Life v/s ice, too much too late

Ice, Review: Life v/s ice, too much too late Melancholia guaranteed, but so is good cinema. Ice is a 15-minute Estonian film that has been shown at 28 film festivals so far (correction: 35; update provided by Anna Hints), and won four (five, she says)  prizes too. Harri is a lieutenant colonel in the Estonian army. Divorced, he only sees his ten-year-old son during the school holidays. Harri decides to make up for lost time and take him on a trip to an island where he went with his fath...

MIFF 2018, XIII: Ivan Leonodovich Maximov: Bizarre, darkly humorous

MIFF 2018, XIII: Ivan Leonodovich Maximov: Bizarre, darkly humorous Ivan Maximov (sometimes spelt Maksimov), is a Producer, Screenwriter, Artist, Animator and Teacher from Russia. Maximov was born in Moscow in 1958 and studied at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (1976-82), following it up with a workshop course in cinema, under directors and screenwriters, like A.Yu. Khrzhanovsky and V.M. Ugarova. At the beginning of his creative career, Ivan worked as an illustrator in various...

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, Review: Rape, murder and other black grey comedy

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, Review: Rape, murder and other black grey comedy Outdoor advertising is no longer so called. The 21st century buzz-word is ‘Out-of-Home medium’, OOH. There have been many claims about the efficacy of such advertising, but no one has so far professed that it can help galvanise a police force into speedy action. Welcome to Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, a 115-minute R-rated homicide drama that is reportedly dropping many clues a...

FICCI FRAMES IV: Four burning issues

FICCI FRAMES IV: Four burning issues FICCI FRAMES will be addressing some burning issues during its 2018 edition. Dour key areas have been identified in its press release. 1. Dwindling box office collections: What needs to be done to turn it around 2017 has been another year of dismal performance for Indian movies, especially the Hindi films. Even the A-listed stars couldn’t change the fate of the movies with poor storyline. A number of films, which were expected to perform well at th...

Black Panther, Review: Pantherium Vibranium Compendium

Black Panther, Review: Pantherium Vibranium Compendium You first heard the name in 2010’s Iron Man 2. It was mentioned in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Wakanda became an entity to reckon with in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, with Chadwick Boseman making his debut as Black Panther. So, do not confuse this outing with The Black Panther (1921) or The Black Panther (1977). On hand is no less than the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And hey, it ...

The Shape of Water, Review: Half full, half empty

The Shape of Water, Review: Half full, half empty It’s co-written and directed Guillermo del Toro. And here is an excerpt of the synopsis: In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment. Sounds interesting? Yes. Premise can work on its own? As a sci-fi thriller, yes, but as an allegory and metaphor-packed Guillermo d...

Hostiles, review: It’s Cowboys v/s Red Indians again; think again, and again

Hostiles, review: It’s Cowboys v/s Red Indians again; think again, and again They have made hundreds of films on the Wild West, about cowboys and Red Indians, settlers from Europe and red-skinned native inhabitants of a continent that Christopher Columbus has mistakenly thought was the one he had sailed out to discover--India. He arrived in 1492, and settlements started taking shape a few decades later. The United States Bill of Rights was passed in 1791, and Hostiles is set in 1892, a ...

PREVIEW, Hostiles: Review will follow

PREVIEW, Hostiles: Review will follow In his contribution to Studies in Classic American Literature, 1922-23, the British novelist D. H. Lawrence David Herbert Richards Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) offered a grim assessment of America and Americans: “All the other stuff, the love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” Lawrence's observatio...

FICCI FRAMES 2018, III: Samuel Scott says TV is not dead, nor is it dying

FICCI FRAMES 2018, III: Samuel Scott says TV is not dead, nor is it dying A star attraction at FICCI FRAMES 2018 will be Samuel Scott, who will shine a ray of hope amidst doomsday pundits and make a case that ‘TV is neither dead nor is it not dying.’ Marketing Keynote Speaker and Tech Contrarian, Scott is a former journalist​, ​newspaper editor, ​​and director of marketing and communications in the high-tech industry. Samuel Scott is ​now a TV advertising speaker, and...

FICCI FRAMES 2018, II: Best Animated FRAMES Awards by FICCI

FICCI FRAMES 2018, II: Best Animated FRAMES Awards by FICCI The Best Animated Frames (BAF) Awards were started in 2004 by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), to recognise and honour students and professionals in the field of Animation. They grew over the years to encompass awards not only in Animation, but also in the VFX and Gaming fields. The contest now receives top-notch entries from across the globe. The 15th edition of these awards will take place on Mar...

MIFF Director moved to IIMC

MIFF Director moved to IIMC After a very short stint as Festival Director at MIFF and Additional Director General, Films Division, Manish Desai moves nest week to the Indian Instiuteof Mass Communication, New Dehi, as Additional Director General. He has sent a goodbye note to journalists, including this writer. "Hi,  It has been a decade long association with my friends from Media in Mumbai. My 10 years stint gave me an unprecedented exposure in the form of handling media even...

Exclusive interview with Turkish animator Berat İlk

Exclusive interview with Turkish animator Berat İlk Animation artist, director and producer, Berat İlk, is an Eskişehir Anadolu University Cartoon Film graduate. İlk, whose expertise is StopMotion, has been among the founding partners of the reputed animation studio, Anima. He has directed or participated as an animator over 100 commercial projects, using various animation techniques like 3D, cell animation, still drawings, flash, puppet, cut out, claymation and many more stop motion tech...

MIFF 2018, XXII: France had strong presence

Bubosc; early days. MIFF 2018, XXII: France had strong presence Dominique Dubosc and Pierre Assouline were the two veteran French 'stars' that shone on the Mumbai winter sky last week as they participated on the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival for documentary, short fiction and animation films. The week-long festival concluded late at night on the 3rd of February. Dominique served on the International Competition Jury while Pierre was part of the National Competition judges. ...

MIFF 2018, XXI: Suicide story from Austria, Brother Jakob, Are You Sleeping? wins Golden Conch

MIFF 2018, XXI: Suicide story from Austria, Brother Jakob, Are You Sleeping? wins Golden Conch  Stefan Bohun’s personal documentary won the prestigious Golden Conch award in the International Competition category at the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentary, Animation and Short Films. The award was presented at south Mumbai’s prestigious Tata Theatre. The award carries a Rs. 1 million (ten lakh) cash component.   Stefen Bohun with his tr...

MIFF 2018, XX, Open Forum No. 5

MIFF 2018, XX, Open Forum No. 5 ...

MIFF 2018, XIX: Pierre Assouline

MIFF 2018, XIX: Pierre Assouline ...

MIFF 2018, XVIII: Open Forum No. 4

MIFF 2018, XVIII: Open Forum No. 4 ...

MIFF 2018, XVII: Open Forum No. 3

MIFF 2018, XVII: Open Forum No. 3 ...

MIFF 2018, XVI: Open Forum No. 2

MIFF 2018, XVI: Open Forum No. 2 ...

MIFF 2018, XV: Tribute to Rob Stewart

MIFF 2018, XV: Tribute to Rob Stewart   ...

Den of Thieves, review: Thieving Merrimen and a cop called Nick

Den of Thieves, review: Thieving Merrimen and a cop called Nick There is little Gerard Butler does here that he has not done before, more than once. The bulgy steely eyes, the scowl, the contorted mouth speech (is there something Scottish about it?), the man on the brink... As producer, he could have either picked a better script, or, as actor, moulded himself better. He decides to remain he. Den of Thieves is as much about thievery as the Afghanistan war is about a flying carpet. Our brand ...

MIFF 2018, XIV: "Selvi inspired me to pick up my camera again"-Elisa Paloschi

MIFF 2018, XIV: "Selvi inspired me to pick up my camera again"-Elisa Paloschi Elisa was a Jury member at the just conclided Mumbai International Film Festival ...

MIFF 2018, XIII: IDPA's Open Forum No. 1

MIFF 2018, XIII: IDPA's Open Forum No. 1   ...

MIFF 2018, XII: Meet the Baby of the International Jury, Baby Ruth Villarama

MIFF 2018, XII: Meet the Baby of the International Jury, Baby Ruth Villarama Hailing from the Tagalog (main dialect) speaking heartland of the Philippines, a country of several thousand islands, Baby Ruth is easy to get along with. She also reveals that it is easy to trace somebody in her country based on the surname, which is specific to an island! Known for films like Sunday Beauty Queen, Jazz in Love and Little Azkals, Baby Ruth Villarama did an MA in Film Distribution and Marketing, from...

MIFF 2018, XI: 400 years of the Negro

MIFF 2018, XI: 400 years of the Negro That is what it took for the black people in America to get civil rights. And almost prophetically, the then Attorney-General and brother of the President, Robert Kennedy predicted that America would have a black President in 40 years. But not before thousands had been brutalised, beaten and even killed, including leaders like Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., none of whom lived to be 40.   Oscar nominated documentary on the...

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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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