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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 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 Thomas Savage, it is written for the screen by Campion herself, and tells the tale of feuding brothers, which is again about family relationships.

The Power of the Dog is set in Montana, 1925. It is an international co-production between New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The film had its world premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, on September 2, 2021, where Campion won the Silver Lion, for Best Direction. It had a limited theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand, on November 11, 2021, before a limited release in the United States, on November 17. The film will later be available to stream worldwide, on Netflix, on December 1. But you can catch it at IFFI a whole week earlier.

Dame Elizabeth Jane Campion DNZM was born in 1954 (another source says 1955) and is a 1984 graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Her first major success was Sweetie (1989), a horrific comedy. This was followed by the three-hour made for television, An Angel at My Table (1990). Crowning success came her way when her film, The Piano (1993), shown at IFFI too, shared the Palme d’Or at Cannes, with Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine. The Power of the Dog is her first feature after 2009’s The Bright Star. Though a director with limited output, she is no stranger to Indian audiences.

A cryptic quote from Jane Campion: “I hate superhero movies.”

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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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