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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. 



15 years after its last IFFI, Delhi gets its Diorama

15 years after its last IFFI, Delhi gets its Diorama

After hosting the 34th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in October 2003, Delhi lost its place to Panaji, Goa, which is the venue for IFFIs since then, beginning with the 35th, in November-December 2004. One man who was associated with several editions of IFFI Goa, first as Deputy Director in the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and later as the CEO of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), the body which jointly organises IFFI Goa with the DFF, has resolved to bring the big film festival culture back to New Delhi.

His name is Manoj Srivastava, and he calls his initiative Diorama. Manoj, the Founder and Director of Diorama, is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, and worked with the Jagran Film Festival for five years, after his four-year ESG stint, before embarking on his own project. The venue? Siri Fort, the very place where all the Delhi IFFIs were held.

Diorama: A model that shows a situation, such as a historical event or animals, in their natural environment, in a way that looks real. Dioramas are three-dimensional.--Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus.

The first Diorama International Film Festival will be held from the 14th to the 20th of January, 2019, at the Siri Fort Auditoria. It will offer Gala Film Screenings / Fashion Show / Award Nights / Masterclasses / Celebrity Sessions / Red Carpet / Talent Search / Cultural Shows / Cinema to Schools and Networking.

The event will also include a film market, called the Diorama Film Bazaar. This will aim at connecting content sellers, buyers, producers, directors, financiers and governments, and will be held during 15th-18th January 2019. Bazaar facilities will include a Co-Production Market where new film projects are nurtured, the First Cut- Viewing Room for new and yet to be released films and Short Film Center- a platform for short film makers. Besides, Conferences and Seminars will be held on Film and Television business, Market Screenings in Preview rooms for Film-makers/ Producers, for private screenings and Networking Events and Cocktails, every evening.

A number of awards have been announced, named after the cute State Bird of Delhi, the Sparrow. The Awards shall be announced on 20th January 2019, at a glittering award ceremony, by juries comprising some of the best known names of Indian and World Cinemas.

Picture by By J.M.Garg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

  • Golden Sparrow for Best International Feature Film (the Prize is shared equally by the director and the producer)
  • Silver Sparrow for Best International Film  
  • Golden Sparrow for Best Short Film
  • Silver Sparrow for Best Short Film
  • Golden Sparrow for the Best Documentary Film
  • Silver Sparrow for the Best Documentary Film
  • Golden Sparrow to Best Actor Male
  • Golden Sparrow to Best Actor Female
  • Golden Sparrow for Best Indian feature Film
  • Silver Sparrow for Best Indian Film
  • Golden Sparrow to Best Indian Actor Male
  • Golden Sparrow to Best Indian Actor Female
  • Golden Sparrow for Best Cinematography, India
  • Golden Sparrow for Best Sound, India
  • Golden Sparrow for Best Editing, India
  • Golden Sparrow for Best Male Playback, India
  • Golden Sparrow for Best Female Playback, India
  • Critics’ Choice Award to the Best Foreign Film
  • Viewers’ Choice Award to the Best Foreign Film

I will return to Delhi after more than 15 years, to attend Diorama, with memories of my last visit, which was to attend IFFI 2003, inaugurated by KamalHaasan and Kareena Kapoor, in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, among other dignitaries (see picture above).

For details of Diorama, and to register for the festival or market, go to

Festival Office: N94 Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110017  | +91-11-49539587 |

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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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