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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. 



RIFF 09, 2023, 4: Life-time Achievement Award for Parikshat Sahni

RIFF 09, 2023, 4: Life-time Achievement Award for Parikshat Sahni

The 9th Edition of the Rajasthan International Film Festival(RIFF) 2023

will be held from 1st to 5th February in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Festival Director announced that the life-time achievement award will be given this year to lead actor and later character artiste, the eminent personality, Parikshat Sahni. Sahni is well-known to the earlier generation for TV shows like Barrister Vinod and Gul Gulshan Gulfaam. The latter was set in Kashmir and Parikshat played a houseboat owner. On the big screen, he was recently seen in the films Lage Raho Munna Bhai, 3 Idiots and PK. Sent by his father, top character artiste Balraj Sahni, to study film direction at the Moscow Film Institute, when he came back, he had strong Russian influence. That was in 1966. Instead of getting any assignment to direct a film, he was offered a parallel leading role in a film starring Sanjeev Kumar. It was titled Anokhi Raat. Sanjeev Kumar suggested he change his name to Ajay Sahni, which he did. Some years later, he reverted to his real name. The first song picturised on him was ‘Mile na phool to’. Anokhi Raat was released in 1968. From 1966 to 2023, he has devoted 57 years to films and television.

He is the son of actor Balraj Sahni and nephew of writer Bhisham Sahni. Both father and son worked in a film called Pavitra Papi, an acting milestone. He assisted Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker, because Raj Kapoor needed someone who could help him work with the Russian circus. Two of his most famous films were Tapasya, and  Kala Patthar, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. He starred in the film 3 Idiots, in which he played the role of Farhan's (R Madhavan) father.

The Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rajasthan International Film Festival was initiated in 2015, which was given posthumously to Jaipur's famous lyricist, Hasrat Jaipuri, in 2015. Famous Singer and Music Director Bappi Lahiri was conferred this award in the year 2016, Rajasthan's famous Actress and Singer Ila Arun, in the year 2017, famous actor Om Puri in the year 2018, film producer Kamal Kumar Barjatya, in the year 2019, famous director and editor Rahul Rawail, in the year 2020, famous music director Dilip Sen, in the year 2021, and famous film director and writer N. Chandra, in the year 2022, were honoured with this award.

Somendra Harsh and Anshu Harsh, Managing Trustees of RIFF Film Club and Founders of Rajasthan International Film Festival, said that "This year the grand Opening Ceremony of the Rajasthan International Film Festival - RIFF 2023 will be held on 1st February in Jaipur at INOX, Crystal Palm, C-Scheme. After this, film screenings, Open Forum, Workshops and Talk Shows will be organised in the next four days, from 2 to 5 February 2023, at Screen 3 - INOX, Crystal Palm, C-Scheme. The grand RIFF Closing Ceremony and RIFF Award Night will be organised in Jaipur on 5th February, 6 pm onwards, at Open Theatre, Jawahar Kala Kendra – Jaipur.

For more details, please contact:

Somendra Harsh

Founder and Festival Director

Rajasthan International Film Festival - RIFF 2023



This writer enjoys a close relationship with Parikshat. An interview conducted in 1977 is uploaded for your reading pleasure.

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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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