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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. 



Diorama screens 104 films; DIFF Film Bazaar conducts $3 million business

Diorama screens 104 films; DIFF Film Bazaar conducts $3 million business

The first Diorama International Film Festival (DIFF) concluded on the 20th of January, 2019, with a glittering function held at Siri Fort Auditorium No. 1. A total of 104 films were screened and 49 dignitaries attended. Iconic Iranian director Daruish Mehrjui and veteran Indian film producer-director Subhash Ghai won the lifetime achievement awards.

The Golden Sparrow award for best Indian actor, male, went to Ayushmann Khuranna for his spectacular role in the Hindi Andhadhun, and actress Taapsee Pannu won the Golden Sparrow award for best actor, female, for her role in the Hindi film Mulk.

Among other film personalities who received awards were director Aushim Khetrapal for the best spiritual film, for his film Sai Baba; director Sriram Raghavan's Andhadhun won the Golden sparrow award for best Indian feature film and director Miao-miao Liu's Red Flower and Green Leaves won the Silver Sparrow award for the best international film.

Subhash Ghai, Nik Powell and Manoj Srivastava

"Receiving the lifetime achievement award was an honour for me at this festival. Diorama is a great push created by Manoj Srivastava, for budding film-makers, and the film fraternity in general. I would like to see more of this every year," said Subhash Ghai, who has created cornerstone movies in Bollywood.

The Film Bazaar recorded business to the tune of USD three million, in the form of film deals, co-production support and concrete offers. As a result of the bazaar, 12 international films and 40 short films from the festival’s international competition have been either purchased, or are under negotiations, by various distributors.

"With four feature film projects funded, 19 feature and 40 short film rights sold, the journey has just begun for Diorama Film Bazaar. We will go a long way from here," said Kunal Srivastava, Director, Diorama Film Bazaar

Celebrities who graced the festival during the seven-day affair included important dignitaries such as Nik Powell (Former Chairman, European Film Academy-UK), Beatrix de la Gandara (Renowned Film Producer-Spain), Vivek Rangachari, CEO, Dar Motion Pictures, 

Mozhgan Taraneh (Renowned Actress, Iran-India), Barbara Lorey de la Charrière (Film Critic-France), Philip Cheah (Founder, Asia Pacific Film Lab-Singapore), actors Deepak Tijori, Divya Dutta, Neetu Chandra and Pawan Malhotra. was represented by this writer. However, this report is based is based on a DIFF press release, since I could not be present for the closing ceremony.

"We have begun a movement to kick-start a film industry in Delhi. I thank the entire film industry for reposing faith in us. Watch us grow our way up now," said Festival Director Manoj Srivastava.

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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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