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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. 



RIFF 08, 2022, 10: Challenges and Future of Regional and Rajasthani Language and Films

RIFF 08, 2022, 10: Challenges and Future of Regional and Rajasthani Language and Films

On the third day of Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF), Jodhpur, a talk show was held on the subject Challenges and Future of Regional and Rajasthani Language and Films

In this talk show, Ramesh Bohrana, Theatre Artiste and Film Actor Shailendra Vyas, Vice President of Rajasthan Mela Authority and French Film Director and Writer Fabienne Le Houérou, who has made a full length documentary on the Manganiya community of Rajasthan, gave their views on this topic. On this occasion, Ramesh Bohrana said that regional languages are the life of the local people and these languages also reflect the culture and thinking of the region.

He added that Rajasthani films did very well in the beginning, and many films hit the film screen, but gradually the quality of the films deteriorated, and the audience turned away from Rajasthani cinema. He said that knowing English, Hindi and other languages can be an additional ability, but forgetting your own language is the biggest crime. Today films have become a commercial medium and unless they generate enough business, the film-makers will not be attracted towards them, so the audience should also watch films in the cinema halls, to promote Rajasthani films, while people who know Rajasthani culture and civilisation should choose the stories of the films with the audience in mind, so that the audience can have a direct connection with the films.

Theatre artiste and actor Shailendra Vyas said that discussions on this important topic have been going on for a long time, but still it has not yielded positive results. He said that for this bad phase of Rajasthani cinema, as much as the film producers-directors are responsible, the audience is equally responsible. The audience does not show their interest in watching Rajasthani cinema, due to which big budget films are not being made. He said that the audience should go to the theatres and watch Rajasthani films, whenever they get the opportunity.

Fabienne Le Houérou said that she has seen the civilisation and culture of Barmer and Jaisalmer closely by staying with the people, and she liked Rajasthani culture very much. Fabienne revealed that she was inspired by the film she made about the lifestyles of Kalbelia and Langa communities.

RIFF Director Somendra Harsh shared that recently, an OTT platform has been created to promote Rajasthani films. Films made in Rajasthani language and Rajasthani content are given prominence on this OTT platform, started under the name Cinemasthan. Cinemasthan is Rajasthan's first OTT platform, initiated by RIFF Film Club, which organises RIFF. Priority is given to the Rajasthani content, and then the other regional content, like Marathi, Telugu, etc.

The talk show was powered by the art and culture department from government of Rajasthan and Cinemasthan. Harsh also urged the Vice-Chairman of the State Fair Authority, Ramesh Bohrana, that in the assistance given by the Government of Rajasthan regarding Rajasthani films, instead of Rajasthani language, the condition of Rajasthani content should be made, so that maximum benefit can be availed of. Young film-maker Pankaj Singh Tanwar and young artiste Ashish Purohit also expressed their views in the talk show. Film-critic Lalit Rao, who is a French interpreter, helped Fabienne keep pace with the proceedings.


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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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