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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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MISMFF 2022, 02: Georgia’s rich film heritage and list of 2021 festival winners

MISMFF 2022, 02: Georgia’s rich film heritage and list of 2021 festival winners

While the countdown has begun for the second Mestia International Short & Mountain Film Festival (MISMFF), some interesting facts about Georgia deserve mention. Documentary films have been made in Georgia since 1908, though the first feature was made in 1916. There was a period when 150 feature films and documentaries were shot a year, in a country of merely five million people.

Indians were really exposed to Georgian cinema in the 70s, when Georgia was part of the Soviet Union. One film, in particular, was highly appreciated among the experimental and parallel film circuit: Pirosmani (1969). It was about the dedicated artist Avtandil Varazi, who struggled for recognition of his work, but died of starvation in 1918. It was directed by Giorgi (Georgy) Shengelaia (Shengelaya). Two more films can be cited here, Repentance (1984), directed by Tengiz Abuladze, and the 2021 film What Do We See When We Look at The Sky, directed by Alexandre Koberidze.

In the group that is working to make MISMFF 2 a success, there are people who have gained enormous experience throughout their career and while studying abroad. One of them graduated from University of Television and Film, in Munich. Another one was mentored by the great Italian Cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, and highest ranking American Film Director, Martin Scorsese. You will meet the leading members of the organising team here, in this column, very soon.

For now, we, briefly, go back to 2021.

Eleven films, including two from Georgia, bagged honours at the first MISMFF. It will be a good idea to get into flashback mode and recap.

1. Special Mention - Long Distance (ISRAEL)

2. Special Mention - Dispersion (UKRAINE)

3. Special Mention - Good Lad/Khocha Mareh (GEORGIA)

Discovery of the festival.

According to the decision of the founders of the festival, the above-mentioned film will be screened annually at Mestia International Film Festival

4. Special Mention - Life in Three Voices (USA)

5. Special Mention - Northern Wind Can Be Warm (RUSSIA)

6. Special Mention - Golden Minutes (LITHUANIA)

7. Best Actress - Misha Gomiashvili in Khaketian Train (GEORGIA)

8. Best Short Film - Lottery (BANGLADESH)

9. Best Feature - Solution - Co-exist (IRAN)

10. Best Mountain-themed Film - K2 and The Invisible Footman (PAKISTAN)

11. Best Feature Film (Grand Prix) - Spring Days (MOROCCO)

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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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