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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. 



IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 29: Martina Sakova’s Summer Rebels is told through the eyes of an 11 year-old boy

IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 29: Martina Sakova’s Summer Rebels is told through the eyes of an 11 year-old boy

An 11-year-old boy defies his mother and runs away from his home in Germany to Slovakia, in search of his grandfather, only to realise that his grandpa is not as friendly as he imagined him to be. Speaking about the adventures of this boy, Director Martina Sakova, of Summer Rebels, an IFFI 51 World Panorama film, said: "The story is told through the eyes of an 11-year old boy. I hope this story acts as a moral support for many families, in this difficult situation these days. The film contains themes of friendship, trust and feelings of belonging and love. I hope that the audience will perceive these feelings we have put in it, and the special humour will make them feel better." She was addressing a press conference at the 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India.

“I too had problems with a split family in my childhood, but I had a good time with my grandparents”, confessed the debut feature film Director.  She said that Eliás Vyskocil, the child actor who plays the role of the young boy Jonas, was spontaneous and talented, and open to new ways of acting that the character demanded.

To a question on why the title ‘Summer Rebels’ was chosen for the movie, she said “the child characters don’t like the status quo, they seek change, any how”.

Speaking about her presence at IFFI, the Director said: "I am very happy to be here in Goa and show this film. I've never been to India before, and am very thankful to the film festival for keeping this film culture alive."

About Summer Rebels

In Martina Sakova's Summer Rebels, a “bilingual comedy-adventure”, young Jonas (Elias Vyskocil) wants to spend his holidays with his grandpa. He really, really wants to – even though his exhausted mum has already made other plans. A bit of a hot-head, that much is clear, soon enough, Jonas is on the run from Germany to Slovakia, only to realise that his beloved grandfather Bernard is now a tad grumpier that he remembered, so all that's left to do is to embark on new adventures and mischief, with a local girl in a baseball cap Alex (Liana Pavlikova). Both getting up to crazy ideas that lead to trouble. A summer-imbued adventure of friendship and selflessness that reminds us that dreaming is both invaluable and ageless.


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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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