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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 2021, 07, 02: Yashpal Sharma to be awarded the Om Puri Memorial Common Man in Cinema award

RIFF 07, 2021, 02: Yashpal Sharma to be awarded the Om Puri Memorial Common Man in Cinema award

The 7th edition of the Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF), accredited by the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI) (North Region) will be organised by the RIFF Film Club in a Hybrid Format, from 20 to 24th March 2021, in Jaipur and Jodhpur, Rajasthan - India. This year the theme for the RIFF 2021 is "Music in Cinema". RIFF 2021 will also celebrate the Pre-Foundation Day of the State of Rajasthan.

Founders of the Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF), Somendra Harsh & Anshu Harsh, revealed that acclaimed actor, late Om Puri was a part of RIFF since the first edition. Om Puri had also said during his speech in the 1st edition that he is the custodian of the RIFF, and will remain so after he leaves. Om Puri is still a RIFF Patron, and will always be. So, to keep his memory, RIFF announced at the time of RIFF’s 3rd edition, in 2018, after his passing away, that in memory of Om Puri, a special "Common Man in Cinema" award will be given each year, in the presence of Om Puri's wife and son, Nandita Puri & Ishaan Puri ( who have set-up the Om Puri Foundation, Mumbai).

In 2019, the Common Man in Cinema Award was given to renowned actor Sushant Singh. In 2020, the Common Man in Cinema Award was given to Anup Soni. In the 2021 Edition of the Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF), Om Puri Foundation and RIFF announced that this award will be given to well-known Indian actor, Yashpal Sharma.

Yashpal Sharma is an Indian Bollywood actor and Theatre Artiste. He is best known for his role as Randhir Singh in Sudhir Mishra's 2003 Hindi movie "Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi" apart from "Lagaan" (2001), "Gangaajal" (2003), "Ab Tak Chhappan" (2004), "Apaharan" (2005), "Lakshyam" (2007), "Singh Is Kinng" (2008), "Aarakshan" (2011) and "Rowdy Rathore" (2012). He played Kunwar Singh in Zee's "Mera Naam Karegi Roshan". Yashpal is also a stage actor, and appears in live plays. He formerly starred in Zee's TV series, "Neeli Chhatri Waale".

Yashpal Sharma's various films like "Mooso - The Mouse", "Karim Mohammed"and "Fagun Haway", have been screened in Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF). He has been present in various editions of the RIFF and always supports the festival. During his presence at the Rajasthan International Film Festival 2020, he stated that "Such Film Festivals are a great opportunity, especially for the students to learn and explore cinema, and watch such films which are not released in cinema halls, nor are available on social media."

The 7th edition of the Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) will be held in a Hybrid Format i.e., Virtually and Physically, in Jaipur and Jodhpur. The Opening Ceremony, like the previous year, will be held at the Open Theatre of the Jawahar Kala Kendra, in Jaipur on 20th March, 2021. Thereafter, Film screenings, Open Forums, Talk Shows and much more will be held for the next four days, from 21 to 24 March 2021, in Jodhpur, along with the Closing Ceremony, the grand RIFF Award Night 2021 which will be held in Jodhpur on 24 March 2021".

Entries are invited for the Short, Documentary, Animation, Feature, Regional, Rajasthani, and Music Albums The films can be submitted at and also through FilmFreeWay. The next deadline to submit the films is 31st January, 2021.


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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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