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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. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 

 

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IFFI 53, 2022, 04: Makes history with first feature film to have only indigenous cast

IFFI 53, 2022, 04: Makes history with first feature film to have only indigenous cast 

She rises from the ashes, to fearlessly proclaim the exclusive right she has over her body and the decisions involving it. Dhabari Quruvi is an elevating story of girls belonging to a tribal community in Kerala, and is the first film in the history of Indian cinema to star only people from indigenous communities. Directed by National Award-winning film-maker Priyanandan, the film also has the distinction of having been shot completely in the tribal language of Irula.

Dhabari Quruvi is being presented at the 53rd edition of the International Film Festival of India, which is set to open in Panaji, Goa on 20th November, 2022. And yes, the 104-minute-long feature film is all set to have its world premiere in the Indian Panorama section of IFFI.

Portrayal of indigenous people in Indian cinema has often been criticised for its failure to look beyond stereotypes. Amidst a cinematic tradition and culture which may not have done justice to the true identity and culture of tribal peoples, Dhabari Quruvi is expected to stand out as a candle, spreading founts of newfound hope and inspiration. Set against the background of tribal rituals and culture, the film invites viewers to join the tempestuous journey of a tribal girl, as she battles convention and seeks to free herself from the chains with which society had tied her lot.

In Irula language, Dhabari Quruvi means A Sparrow with an Unknown Father. The mythological bird, which is part of the tribal folklore, captures the untold tales of the unseen people who suffer quietly, who yearn to break the shackles of injustice, whose agonies and struggles the film seeks to bring to light.

So, who are the actors who bestow the film with the honour of having a unique star cast? They are around sixty people, belonging to Irula, Muduka, Kurumba and Vaduka tribal communities of Attappadi, a scheduled tribe hamlet of the southern Indian state of Kerala. Quite a few of them had not ever seen a film in their entire life.

The actors were selected from an acting workshop conducted at Attappadi in which around 150 people participated. Meenakshi, Shyamini, Anuprasobhini and Muruki play main roles in the film. The cast also includes Nanjiyamma, the tribal woman from Attappady who got the 68th National Film Award for Best Female Singer last year.

Dhabari Quruvi has bagged URF world record for being the unique feature film starring only tribals. The film has also been selected to the International Film Festival of Kerala.

Don't miss this unique film at IFFI 53. It is set to touch delegates’ hearts on November 24, 9.30 AM onwards, @ INOX Panjim Audi 2.

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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

India



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