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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. 



16th MIFF: A doc, a short and an animation film set the ball rolling

16th MIFF: A doc, a short and an animation film set the ball rolling

Three films were screened at the inaugural ceremony of the 16th Mumbai International Film Festival, MIFF 2020, on 28th January, 2020, at the Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai. Since the festival screens documentaries, short fiction films and animation films, it was quite apt that one representative film from each genre was showcased last evening. Regular screenings began on 29th January.

Rhyme and Rhythm of Loom (from the Special Package of films from the North-East India).

Short Documentary | 18’ | India | 2018

Director: Goutam Bora

Bora’s 53-minute documentary, Old Man River, was shown at MIFF 2018 and his Karbi tribal language film Wosobipo (1991) was screened at the Berlin Film Festival. It won the Indira Gandhi Award for the Best First Film of a Director, at the National Film Awards.


In the Mishing or Mising community, also called Miri, the second largest tribal community of Assam, the cultural heritage of textile is a living tradition. It is the women-folk who do almost all the work in this labour intensive craft. But this age-long tradition is under serious threat as a result of the market economy’s changing demands.

Fauve (from Oscar films package)

Short Fiction | 16’ | Canada |2018

Director: Jeremy Comte

Driven by a passion for skate-boarding, Jeremy Comte directed his first short documentary, Feel the Hill, at eighteen years old. Graduating from Concordia University in Film Production, his connection with nature and curiosity for the human condition deepened with his travels around the globe. He made Paths in 2014. Fauve played at 187 festivals, won 90+ awards, including the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, 2018. It also earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Live Action Short Film.

Lead players: Felix Grenier and Alexandre Perreault.


Set in a surface mine, two boys sinking into a seemingly innocent power game, with Mother Nature as the sole observer. It was inspired by a recurring nightmare.

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos (from Konstantin Bronzit Retrospective)

Animation | 16’ | Russia |2014

Director: Konstantin Bronzit

Russian animator Konstantin Bronzit was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009 with his simple, hand-drawn short, Lavatory Love-story. But in 2004, he had already created the truly brilliant computer animation, The God. Born in 1965 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Konstantin Bronzit worked first as a caricaturist. After graduating in courses for scriptwriters and directors, in Moscow, in 1994, he has directed some ten short animated films. His works have brought him two Oscar and one César nominations, and about 200 festival awards, worldwide. Besides independent projects, he has made numerous commercials and a feature film, Alyosha Popovich and Tugarin the Serpent, which was acclaimed by the audience and was also financially successful. Since 1997, he has been working as an art director at Melnitsa Animation Studio, in St. Petersburg. We Can’t Live Without Cosmos was nominated for an Oscar.


Two unnamed cosmonauts prepare for a space mission. They’re best friends, one with a rectangular head and the other with a square one. Two friends, who dream about space, undergo intense, daily work-outs, and are doing everything possible to make their dream a reality. But this story is not only about friendship and dreams. Director Konstantin Bronzit says the film is about loneliness.

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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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