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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 Goa 2017, VIII: Message of Sunit Tandon, Festival Director

IFFI Goa 2017, VIII: Message of Sunit Tandon, Festival Director

In the run-up to the International Film Festival of India, Panaji, Goa, November 20-28, I continue to monitor the news and developments.

Here’s one link I found:

At the bottom is a button called Download. When you click on it, you get: Sorry!

Page not Found

Back To Home

However, on the second link, found right next to the above link,

Download proves fruitful.

Here’s where I first discover an official mention of the Festival Director, by name, and the existence of an IFFI Secretariat within the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. Obviously, there is no explanation of the side-stepping of the Directorate of Film Festivals and what role, if any, will the DFF and the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) play or not play in the staging of IFFI Goa 2017, and the rationale behind shifting the responsibility of the organising of the event on the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).

This is what Festival Director Sunit Tandon, who has long years of Doordarshan, National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), IFFI and Indian Institute of Mass Communication, experience, writes:

“Over the years, the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has created a firm place for itself in the global Film Festival calendar. Organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, IFFI has become one of the most important Film Festivals in the Asian region. In this 48th edition of the Festival, we are delighted to be presenting a strong International and Indian film programme. The IFFI 2017 Film Programme is showcasing a total of 195 films from across 82 countries, thus, vouching for the diversity of cinematic endeavours from around the globe and their representation at the Festival. The Cinema of the World section showcases 82 films of several national, international and transnational productions and co-productions of exceptional mainstream, independent and art cinema. The Indian Panorama section – introduced in 1978 and devoted to showcasing the best new Indian films of the year – showcases about 26 feature and non-feature films in 24 languages selected by our eminent jury from a total of 178 features and 161 non-features entries. The features have films by accomplished directors, as well as those by young, debut filmmakers. 

The non-feature films selected represent the cultural and aesthetic flavours of different parts of the country, making every film special. The Festival is also delighted to open this year’s edition with renowned filmmaker Majid Majidi’s ‘Beyond The Clouds’ and close with the well-regarded filmmaker, Pablo Cesar’s ‘Thinking of Him.’ Both the films reflect true Indo-International collaborations and the Make in India outlook. The Country Focus on Canada has been taken forward in association with Telefilm Canada and with collaboration from the TIFF. We also have a selection of films from the “Biennale College” of the Venice International Film Festival. We are confident that all of you will enjoy the carefully curated programme of the best of international and Indian films, many of which are being presented in the country for the first time, including some cinematic landmarks in the Restored Classics. We have curated a Bond Retrospective package that includes 9 impressionable films from the vastly popular cult of the British spy who has influenced local film icons and cultures across the world.

Our Indian Retrospective this year focusses on the recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2016), K. Viswanath, a man who turned from being an audiographer to becoming a director, screenwriter and character actor who has made invaluable contributions in Hindi, Tamil and Telegu Cinema. His films not only have strong content, endearing narratives, honest handling, but also cultural authenticity, which has great appeal for the masses. This year our film fraternity has lost some eminent personalities, and IFFI pays homage and tribute to them and to their work, which lives on. We pay tribute to Om Puri, Abdul Majid, Vinod Khanna, Tom Alter, Reema Lagoo, Kundan Shah, J. Jayalalithaa, Dasari Narayan Rao & Ramananda Sen Gupta for their contributions to the film industry. IFFI is also continuing with its effort to support the Accessible India Programme of the Government of India by making films accessible for the visually impaired and hearing impaired. Additionally, the Panel Discussions and Master Classes with industry and thought leaders form one of the core pillars of this year’s Festival. We also urge all of you to experience the Mixed Reality Sidebar which includes a special VR package put together for you, in addition to the various other new initiatives in this edition, aimed at “Celebrating the Future of Cinema”. I welcome you to the 48th International Film Festival of India and I hope that it proves to be an enjoyable and enriching experience for you.”

(Picture from the blog of Being Neethu, used non-commercially, with thanks).



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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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