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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. 



MAMI 22, 01: Priyanka Chopra Jonas new Chairperson, Festival in March 2022, No international competition

MAMI 22, 01: Priyanka Chopra Jonas new Chairperson, Festival in March 2022, No international competition

Mumbai Academy of Moving Image has unveiled plans for 2021-22. The blueprint for the next film festival will feature new leadership and a new creative vision that is attuned to the radical changes the world has witnessed in the last two years. Taking over the reins as Chairperson is actor, producer and author Priyanka Chopra Jonas. She was unanimously nominated by MAMI’s Board of Trustees, which comprises Nita M. Ambani (Co-Chairperson), Anupama Chopra (Festival Director), Ajay Bijli, Anand G. Mahindra, Farhan Akhtar, Isha Ambani, Kabir Khan, Kaustubh Dhavse, Kiran Rao, Rana Daggubati, Riteish Deshmukh, Rohan Sippy, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vishal Bhardwaj and Zoya Akhtar.

The board also welcomed two new members to its fold, acclaimed film-maker Anjali Menon and renowned film-maker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur. "For us, building a unique cultural space and platform for cinema like the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, over six years, has been immensely fulfilling. Now more than ever, we need to nurture the power of cinema and art to heal and help humanity move forward. I look forward to my dear friend Priyanka Chopra Jonas joining our team and leading the way for Jio MAMI to reach new heights. She is a multi-faceted global artiste and a force of nature, we are privileged to have her on board," said Isha Ambani (member of the Board of Trustees, MAMI). “Continuing Jio MAMI’s strong tradition of female leadership, the indomitable Priyanka Chopra Jonas now joins as chairperson. She is a global icon. Her passion and vision will take MAMI to the next level,” said Anupama Chopra (Festival Director).

“I’m so proud to be taking on the role of Chairperson of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. I’m really looking forward to working alongside these powerhouse women, Isha Ambani, Anupama Chopra, Smriti Kiran and the rest of the team, to take the festival to the next level. I’ve hit the road running… with ideas, thoughts and plans on reimagining the festival to find its rightful place in a world that has changed so much in such a short time. We’re all consuming film and entertainment very differently now and in the process, we’ve expanded the footprint of the cinema that we watch. I have always been a huge supporter and believer in films from across India and together, we hope to create a strong platform to showcase Indian cinema to the world,” said Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Chairperson).

Jio MAMI’s mission, since its inception, has been to bring together the Indian film industry, curate the best Indian and international cinema and bring them to the widest possible audience. But over the years it has also transformed into a year-round platform with international credibility that has set a new bench-mark in the impact that a film festival in India can have. Its evolving scope along with the challenges raised by the pandemic has led to Jio MAMI 2.0. Adapting to a new paradigm, Jio MAMI 2.0 will have an expanded timeline. Instead of a film festival that happens over a week, Jio MAMI is now going to pan out from October 2021 to March 2022. From October onwards until January, under the Year Round Programme, apart from Dial M for Films, it will hold select digital screenings and masterclasses, featuring talent from all over the world.

The hybrid edition of the festival will take place in March 2022, depending on how the COVID-19 situation is in India. The tentative dates of the festival are 11th March to 15th March, 2022. “Bolstering the creative think tank at the academy are three brilliant minds - Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Anjali Menon and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur. I cannot wait for us to set sail,” said Smriti Kiran (Artistic Director).

Great crises are often followed by tectonic changes. While Jio MAMI will continue to stand for the celebration of great cinema and artistes, there is no doubt that this is the beginning of a new chapter in its history. Jio MAMI 2.0 will have a new and focussed palette. Each section and vertical has been assessed with the lens of what creates value in the current scenario and what doesn’t. This includes creating more awards and grants for Indian films and film-makers and letting go of the International Competition section.

Over these six months (October 2021-March 2022), Jio MAMI will focus on conversations with some of the best talent in India and abroad. It will screen all the amazing Indian films that have not gotten an opportunity to be showcased because the festival did not take place last year. The digital verticals of Jio MAMI, launched in 2020 to a staggering response, like Dial M For Films, Storytellers Are Us: The Origin Story, Jio MAMI Industry Programme, Rashid Irani Young Critics Lab and the MAMI Year Round Programme Home Theatre will continue to create stellar programming for its national audience. For more information please log onto Contact:


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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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