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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. 



18th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, III

18th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, III

Iran bagged two of the four prizes in the best short fiction films category at the 18th Third Eye Asian Film Festival (TEAFF), including the most coveted First Prize. The second prize went to an Indian entry, while the third prize was shared between an Iranian and an Indian film. Over the years, Iranian films have regularly made their mark at TEAFF, and there is always a strong presence of films from Iran, whether features or shorts.

Here are the winners:

1st: I'm Not My Body (Directed by Nima Akbarpour/Iran-UK/25 min)

(Nima Akbarpour works for BBC Persian, presenting the Technology Show).

2nd: Vitha (Avishkar Bharadwaj/Marathi/15 min)

(Avishkar Bharadwaj is only 22. An alumnus of Whistling Woods International, he is also a critic).

3rd (Shared)

A. Cover (Vahid Alvandifar/Iran/15min)

(Vahid Alvandifar is a 41 year-old cinematographer, documentary and short film-maker. Cover is about the situation that arises when the dead body of a worker suddenly comes alive).

B. Written By?  (Kankana Chakraborty/Bengali/15 min)

(Kankana’s work includes Women Prayed and Preyed Upon, and Anurup).

Unfortunately, I could not see any of these four films.

The short films I saw were

Miss Man/India: **

I, Reborn/India: ** ½

My Blossoming Summer/China: **

Monsoon Clips/India: **

(Shot over a period of two years on a Redmi mobile phone)

Land of Ants/Iran: ** ½

The Disguise/UK: ** ½

Smoke/India: **

Balloon Pinch/India: **

Mother/India: **

A recap of the feature films I managed to see and how I rated them:

Paani: ***

Ben’s Biography: ***1/2

Halda: ***

The Taste from Happy Island: ** ½

Screenplay: **

Stories@8: ***

Mystic Memoir: ** ½

Since I had seen the following films earlier, I skipped them at TEAFF:

Sunetra: The Pretty-Eyed Girl, The Last Rituals/Samskara, Wings of Butterfly/Pokhilar Pakhi, An Unfairy Tale/Maadathi, The Two Lovers, Dithi and Mai Ghaat.

On behalf of both the Iranian directors, the prizes were received by Iran’s Consul in Mumbai, Dr. Mohsen Ashouri. Kiran Shantaram, Chairman of Asian Film Foundation, gave away the prizes.

Kankana Chakraborty, director of Written by? was present, and collected her prize along with her editor, Mridul Sen.

Since this edition of TEAFF was scheduled to be held in December 2019, and had to be postponed by nearly three months on account of political changes in the Maharashtra government, the next edition, the 19th, will be held in December 2020, making it an unusual calendar year that will witness the holding of two TEAFFs. The 18th edition was held during March 01-06, 2020.

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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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