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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. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



IFFI 53, 2022, 01: FTII, NFDC and ESG to offer free courses to persons with disabilities

IFFI 53, 2022, 01: FTII, NFDC and ESG to offer free courses to persons with disabilities

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, under its Centre for Open Learning (CFOL) initiative, National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) have announced two free courses for persons with disabilities as part of the 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India, scheduled to be held from November 20 to 28, in Panaji, Goa. A basic course in smartphone film making for people with Autism and a basic course in screen acting for people in wheelchairs are what is on offer at IFFI 53

With an objective to ensure that the process of creating art becomes accessible to all, FTII has been conducting a variety of courses to empower persons with disabilities to participate and excel in the magic of cinema. The courses at IFFI 53 are 8 days long and would run from November 21-November 28. While one course aims to mould participants into modern day auteurs, the other seeks to unleash their inner actors

The basic course in smartphone film making for individuals with autism will be taught by Ajmal Jami, a reputed professional in the field of visual communication. He has garnered multiple awards in a range of fields, spanning reporting from war zones and conflict areas to documentaries, promotional films, soft features and shows. As Cinematographer, Film-maker and Photographer, he has worked on prestigious projects for organisations of national and international repute

This course will feature multiple modules, starting from introduction to the language of cinema to shooting and editing on smartphones. The module will have also have a screening and review session at the end. The maximum number of participants is 12 and the instruction hours will be 3 per day.

Basics of screen acting for individuals in wheelchairs will be taught by Jijoy P. R. He is in-charge Dean (Film) and Associate Professor, Acting, at Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. A theatre artiste, film actor, trainer and producer Jijoy has performed in 55 Films, and nearly 400 International Theatre shows, across 4 continents. It has 6 modules, beginning with an introduction to natyashastra. The course also lays special emphasis on the hasya rasa or comedy.

Movement, acting games and sense awareness games, focussing on breaking down inhibitions, are other highlights of the course.

Both courses are being conducted at the Art Gallery, at Maquinez Palace in Goa

For details and registration, follow this link to the official FTII website:

For details and registration, visit:

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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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