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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, 12: A talk show on Raj Kapoor-The Master at Work

RIFF, 08, 2022, 12: A talk show on Raj Kapoor-The Master at Work

On Tuesday, the fifth day of the Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) 2022, a talk show was held on the topic "Cinema and Books - A Boundless Relationship". The basis of the discussion was the book "Raj Kapoor: The Master at Work", written by Rahul Rawail, who worked as assistant director to the late genius for several years. Since then he has carved a niche for himself as a director of great merit, being really active in the 80s and 90s. Rahul Rawail, famous actor Randhir Kapoor, eldest son of Raj Kapoor, Pick a Book co-founder K. V. T. Ramesh, the Vice President Jai Desai, and the City President Akshay Goyal were present during  this talk show.

Rahul Rawail, who considered Hindi cinema's first ‘showman’ Raj Kapoor as his guru, said that as Guru Dakshina, he has written a book on the life of his guru. He said that this book is not about the showmanship of Raj Kapoor but about the Raj Kapoor who was a wonderful human being, a man full of love for others and a passionate film-maker. Rahul Rawail revealed that whatever he had learned from Raj Saheb, he has tried to put it all in this book.

“Raj Saheb was very serious about his work. I have never seen a person as dedicated as Raj Kapoor,” he declared. He told the audience that now he was thinking of writing a book entitled 'Kapoor and Sons,' because he had been very close to the family. Veteran actor Randhir Kapoor said that after reading the book, “I felt that my father was not only Ranbir Kapoor's grand-father but he was the greatest film-maker of all time. Raj Kapoor always used to create a character of his own. It was very difficult to work with Raj Kapoor as an actor or director (The two worked in Kal Aaj Aur Kal and Dharam Karam as father and son. Randhir Kapoor directed). He would ask you questions you would have never anticipated and to which you had no answers. On the sets, he did what he wanted to do, because he knew exactly what he had to do. His work was the biggest thing for Raj Kapoor, and he gave the highest importance to work throughout his life.”

Many consider him, the maker of such classics as Awaara, Shree 420, Sangam, Mera Naam Joker, and Bobby,  the greatest film-maker of the 20th century.

‘Pick a Book’, Regional Operations Head Anshu Harsh and Vice president (India), City president (Jaipur) Akshay Goyal conducted the talk show while Festival Director Somendra Harsh thanked the guests and offered them mementos.


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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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