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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. 



MAMI’s 19th Mumbai Film Festival, 12-18 November: The Winners

MAMI’s 19th Mumbai Film Festival, 12-18 November: The Winners

Indian category

Golden Gateway award, Oxfam Best Film for Gender Quality award and Young Critics Choice award: Village Rockstars

Silver Gateway award: Machines

Grand Jury prize: In the Shadows

Special mention: Up, Down and Sideways, and S(exy) Durga

International category

Golden Gateway: Summer 1993, Spain

Silver Gateway: Quest, USA

Grand Jury: The Wound, South Africa-Germany-France

Special Mentions: Scary Mother, Estonia-Georgia and I Am Not a Witch, UK-France

Audience Choice award: On Body and Soul, Hungary

Dimensions Mumbai awards

Golden Gateway: Vacancy

Silver Gateway: The Wolf of Chawl Street

Special jury mention: Bambaiwale

Oxfam Special mention for gender equality: The Hungry

Writing category

Excellence in writing on cinema, English: Voices of the Talking Stars

Excellence in writing on cinema, Hindi: Lata: Sur Gatha

Half Ticket section

Golden gateway: The Day My Father Became a Bush

Silver Gateway: Cloudboy

[The above information is based on press reports. This writer was not invited to the awards, no press releases were sent by the organisers, nor does the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) carry any official listing].

Comments on the verdicts

I could not see Village Rockstars, Machines, Up, Down and Sideways.

S (exy) Durga was dramatically off-beat and technically excellent. Special mention is ok. Anything more would have been undeserving.

Summer 1993 and Quest were among the films that scored high in my ratings, and I am happy that they won.

The Wound should appeal to only sadistic viewers, based on the first 30 minutes. Did it redeem itself in the latter two-thirds? The Jury knows best.

Scary Mother is highly over-rated while I appreciate the recognition of I Am Not a Witch.

On Body and Soul had a magnetic appeal that deserved to be lauded.

The rest of the winners? Bad luck! I could not get to see them.

Last word: No film scored more than ***1/2 in my ratings, which means that MAMI’s 19th Mumbai Film Festival did not screen any films worth shouting about.



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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