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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 09, 2023, 6: Days 01 and 02

RIFF 09, 2023, 6: Days 01 and 02

On 01 February 2023, day one of the Rajasthan International Film Festival the late actor Padma Shri Irrfaan Khan (full name Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan) was honoured with the RIFF Theme Award 2023 (Sports in Cinema), for the film Paan Singh Tomar. Ms. Sutapa Sikdar, writer and wife of Irrfan Khan, accepted the honour on his behalf.

Rajasthani Documentary film Dhinga Gavar, directed by Somendra Harsh, which was screened in January at the Dhaka International Film Festival, also had its special screening.

Clinton and Paan Singh Tomar were the opening theme films, in non-feature and feature film category respectively.

The schedule for Day 2, 02 February 2023, included films like Dr. Ajit Jain, The Bapu Ashram, Chemical Bros., In My Head, Bahubali, Jobaniya Jalebi music video, Hath Rapiya, Baaraat, Lotus Bloom, Basti and Maata (The Monastery). 

Besides the screenings, there was an In-Conversation Session with Sutapa Sikdar, titled The World Needs Strong Women. Ms Sikdar also stated that she never wished to be an actress or even marry an actor. She also mentioned that she took every step of her life with great caution and organised, but Irrfan’s untimely demise made a huge impact on her and her two children. Also participating in the discussion were Ranu Shrivastav, Aastha Agrawal, Sandhya Dilip, Kalpana Singh and Anshu Harsh.

Another talk show held on that day was led by the founder of RIFF, Somendra Harsh, on the topic, Regional Language Recognition, Future and Challenges, in which he stressed regional cinema’s importance and its status in Rajasthan. He spoke entirely in Marwari dialect of the Rajasthani language.  Other participants were Pravin Kumar, M.D. Soni, Jagdish Arya, Vipin Tiwari and Rekha Rao.


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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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