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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. 



IFFI 2018, V: Promoting Jharkhand as a film-making destination

IFFI 2018, V: Promoting Jharkhand as a film-making destination

The 24th of November was a day dedicated to Jharkhand at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The scenic state, bestowed with rugged hills, dense forests and mesmerising waterfalls, got a much-needed impetus as a film shooting destination when dignitaries came together to celebrate ‘Jharkhand Day’ at IFFI.

Governor of Goa, Ms. Mridula Sinha; Shri Amar Kumar Bauri, Tourism Minister, Government of Jharkhand; Shri Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; Shri Sunil Kumar Barnwal, Secretary, Department of Information and Public Relations, Jharkhand; Shri Rahul Sharma, Secretary, Department of Tourism, Arts and Sports, Jharkhand; and Shri Sheo Pratap Singh, Tourism Secretary, Government of Goa, participated in the special evening celebrations at hotel Cidade de Goa in Panaji that evening. Cultural troops from Jharkhand performed indigenous dance forms like Paika, Mardana Jhumar, Seraikela Chhau and Damkach, accompanying the tunes of mandar and bansuri, showcasing the rich cultural legacy of the region.

Film-buffs thronging IFFI got a glimpse of the art, culture and cuisine of the Jharkhand through the multiple stalls promoting the State and its tourism initiatives. Handicrafts and cuisine of the state presented at the festival venues attracted lots of people. A recipient of the Special Mention Award for promoting film-making in 2016, Jharkhand was chosen as the State in Focus at IFFI this year. This is the first time that IFFI has included a State in Focus segment.  Six films, either shot in Jharkhand under the Jharkhand Government Film Promotion Programme, or made in a language/dialect of the state, were screened during the Festival. The films were: ‘Begum Jaan’ (2017), ‘Ranchi Diaries’ (2017), ‘A Death in the Gunj’ (2016), ‘Mor Gaon Mor Desh’ (2018), ‘Ajab Singh ki Gajab Kahani’ (2017), and ‘Panchlait’ (2017). ‘MSD: The untold story’ (2016), the biopic on former Indian Cricket team captain M.S. Dhoni, was also screened at the Open Air Screening venue of IFFI.

Jharkhand had been captured multiple times on celluloid by great film-makers, including Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, when it was part of Bihar state. But after attaining statehood, this scenic landscape seems to have gone off the movie location map for some time.  Under the leadership of current Chief Minister Raghubar Das, the state is all set to recapture its lost glory in the arena of cinema making. Since the Jharkhand State Film Policy, released in 2015, the State is steadily moving ahead in creating awareness among film-makers about its potential for film-making. Through these focussed celebrations at IFFI, the state has been firmly put in limelight for both the film-making industry as well as tourism. It is hoped that these efforts will help create opportunities for the local artistes, and help convert the state into a tourist destination.

(The picture on top shows Amit Khare, Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, addressing the audience on Jharkhand Day).

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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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