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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. 



IFFI 50: Ilaiyaraaja mesmerises at Master Class

IFFI 50: Ilaiyaraaja mesmerises at Master Class

Legendary music composer Ilaiyaraaja was at IFFI 2019 for a Masterclass, moderated by none other than a reputed director, R. Balki (Balakrishnan) himself.

The music composer entered amidst loud cheering and clapping…audiences got up in respect for the master, and then Ilaiyaraaja mesmerised people with his conversation and his music.

“Music has power. Just put a close up of an actor without any expression. We can put expression with just music...he is thinking of his mother, his childhood, his love...these emotions can just be added with the music,” said Ilaiyaraaja.

“His music transcends time...sometimes you would want to watch it on a blank screen,” said Balki, who has worked with Ilaiyaraaja in a few of his films.

“The only fights that we have are when he wants to change a tune, and I don’t want it changed,” Balki added. “Music is a universal language...Every school should have music in syllables. If that happens, the violence will be less...there won’t be any violence I think.”

When someone from the audiences said that Ilaiyaraaja’s music makes one happy, but also sad, sometimes, because you start thinking of your love.

“Music is for being...not only for one emotion,” responded Ilaiyaraaja.

Ilaiyaraaja not only composed for a live situation in front of the audience, but even made everyone sing one his tunes.

Ilaiyaraaja is a film composer, singer, lyricist, instrumentalist, orchestrator and conductor-arranger, and has composed over 7000 songs, provided film scores for more than 1000 movies and performed in more than 20,000 concerts.

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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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