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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, XII: Rajinikanth to be Icon of Golden Jubilee

IFFI 50, XII: Rajinikanth to be Icon of Golden Jubilee

Union (Central Government) Information & Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar, announced on November 02 that, “In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, during the past several decades, I am happy to announce that the award for the ‘Icon of the Golden Jubilee of IFFI 2019’ is being conferred on cine-star Shri. S. RajiniKanth”, said Javadekar.

Carpenter-turned-porter-turned-bus conductor-turned-superstar, the story of S. Rajanikanth is no less dramatic than a movie script. He was born on December 12, 1950, in a Marathi-speaking family of Karnataka. His real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. Before he got a start in films, he did odd jobs to make a living. He worked as a bus conductor for Karnataka State Transport Corporation in Bangalore (Now Bengaluru). It was during this period that he nurtured his love for acting, by performing in plays.

Rajinikanth, often called Rajini or Thalaivar (commander/president/chairman) got his break in films when he played a small role in the Kannada film, Katha Sangama, directed by S.R. Puttanna Kanagal. He then played a cancer patient in the Tamil film Apoorva Raagangal (1975), directed by K. Balachander. The lead actor of the film was KamalHaasan, who became one of his closest friends. He was noticed by the industry and public alike, and he never looked back.

In a long and eventful career, Rajinikanth has acted in over 170 films, in many languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali. He also had a starring role in the Hollywood production, Blood Stone (1988). His fans know him as a stylish actor, with some pet mannersims.

The Government of India has honoured him with the civilian titles of Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2016). At the 45th. International Film Festival of India (2014), he was conferred with the "Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year".

In the new millennium, his films include:












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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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