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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, 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 the Crystal Plumage (1970). He is noted for films like The Conformist (1970), Last Tango in Paris (1972), 1900 (1976), Apocalypse Now (1979), Reds (1981), The Last Emperor (1987), Dick Tracy (1990), Café Society (2016) and Wonder Wheel (2017).


Storaro has received three Oscar Awards for Best Cinematography, for the films Apocalypse Now (1979), Reds (1981), and The Last Emperor (1987), and is one of three living persons who have won the award three times.Apocalypse Now was Storaro’s first collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola. The story takes place during the war in Vietnam. A U.S. army captain is sent to Cambodia on a secret mission to find and assassinate a renegade American colonel who allegedly has gone insane.

Principal cinematography stretched over 15 months, mainly at practical locations in the Philippine Islands. The all-star cast, included Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen and Harrison Ford. Apocalypse Now earned five 1979 Academy Awards, including best picture, director and cinematographer. Vittorio also earned BSC and BAFTA nominations. A precious quote from the man himself, "Wherever you put the camera, wherever you put your canvas to make a painting, the moment you use this kind of light, for example, you say something very specific. It is happening whether we know it or not, because of its energy. The main problem is if you know it or don’t. If you know the meaning, if you know the fact that natural light is energy, and what is energy? It’s a frequency of waves. Those waves arriving to us. Not only through eyes, but through our entire body. It’s scientifically proven that our blood pressure, our metabolism is changing according to the kind of vibration it receives. When you’re making a photograph, a painting or a film, and you use some kind of light or some kind of color, you’re sending a message. If you don’t know it, you’re doing it according to how you feel is right. But if you’re aware of it, if you studied the symbology, physiology, dramaturgy of light or color, you can use them like a musician using do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do. You’re using red, orange, yellow, blue, violet."


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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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