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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. 



Shayan Italia and Farhad Vijay Arora recreate Indian National Anthem in 8K Ultra HD

Shayan Italia and Farhad Vijay Arora recreate Indian National Anthem in 8K Ultra HD

In just 48 hours, the Indian National Anthem #IWouldStandForThis version became the most successful Indian National Anthem video on YouTube securing over 8.6 million views. #IWouldStandForThis honours the Indian National Anthem (Jana Gana Mana), performed by Shayan Italia in 8K Ultra HD, on the world’s grandest piano, to pay homage to his mother. #IWouldStandForThis brings together multinational cross-cultural music and video production talent from all over the world, to inspire patriotism amongst the youth of India, in its digital age. Incredible detail is visible when viewed in Ultra HD, and with headphones. Full 8K (8192 x 4320) resolution can be viewed via Google Chrome browser.

Shayan Italia

Born in the city of Secunderabad (now in Telangana State), Shayan Italia is only one of a handful of Indians to be interviewed by the legendary Sir David Frost, as part of his show Frost Over The World. Frost opened the interview with the question "Well, is the new Elton John going to come from India?" Shayan has always chosen to remain away from the limelight for personal reasons. #IWouldStandForThis will be his first ever commercial public release as a music artist on a global scale, honouring his mother for the gift of music she left him with.

Before Shayan's mother died, when he was a teenager, she bought him a Yamaha Clavinova digital piano, as a goodbye present. She never lived to see him play it, for it arrived a few days after she passed on. Upon unpacking the piano, something quite amazing happened. Shayan placed his hands on the instrument, and started playing. It seemed to him as if his fingers had taken a life of their own. It was magical! Just as magical was his sudden gift for writing songs. He wrote so many that, soon, he had--not one or two songs--but a large body of work. 

Not knowing what to do with his new-found gift and his ever-growing catalogue of songs, Shayan turned for inspiration to London, where his elder brother and first cousins lived, at the time. Then, exactly a year after his mother passed away, Shayan lost his father. With nothing to keep him back in his hometown, Secunderabad, Shayan moved to London. In London, Shayan took a loan and enrolled for a sound engineering course at the prestigious Alchemea College of Audio Engineering, in the hope that he would learn how to record some of the songs that he had written. He found, to his dismay, that recording songs required funds to pay for musicians, singers, and studio time. With limited means and loan options exhausted, Shayan was compelled to turn to other ways for financing his passion for music.

Undeterred and accepting the challenge, Shayan resorted to entrepreneurship, where he innovatively auctioned a portion of his future earnings on eBay, to raise money to record a song. He raised a staggering USD 18,000 in 7 days—many more times the USD 1,000 that had been his aim! He later went on to become the first person to ever raise USD 1 million privately for music (approx Rs 6 crore at the time) which led to the birth of his project, FEEL. Offered as a free download, till date, FEEL has garnered over 47 million downloads worldwide purely through underground word-of-mouth and is now under consideration to be made into a Broadway Musical.

Dr. Farhad Vijay Arora’s message

“When the opportunity arose to record in 8k Ultra HD, we all jumped to it. It had never before been done in India and I’m proud to say this is India’s first true 8k video shoot and the world’s first true 8k music video shoot, and that too of our beloved Indian national anthem. What I loved most about the concept was the intimacy of it all. No politics, no agenda. Just a simple story of a boy wanting to honour his mum through something personal she left him with, something everyone the world over can relate to. It’s heartfelt and soulful.”

— Farhad Vijay Arora, Director

Chief Production Team and Special Thanks to...

Since 8K Ultra HD processing technology doesn’t exist in India as of yet, various studios from across the world (including USA, Russia, UK, Australia, Singapore and the UAE) came together in unison to make the processing of this video happen.

Arranged and Performed, on Steinway Model D, by: Shayan Italia

Directed by: Dr. Farhad Vijay Arora

Chief Audio Engineers: Tim Young, Ronan Phelan, Shantanu Hudlikar

Produced by: Shayan Italia and Farhad Vijay Arora

Co-Producers: Amarjeet Dahiya, RajanVanmali and Shyam Garg

Co-Director: Sandeep Singh Khichi and Aapar Gupta

Director of Photography: Mohammed Shahnawaz Ansari

Post Production & VFX Overview: Kalinath Roy and Dilber Vijay Arora

Associate Producers: Jagdish Ingle, Imran Malgunkar, and Raju Dubey

EPs: Sahil Gulia and Pankaj Kansara

Photography: Jeetu and Kinnari

Make-up: Arshis Javeri

Styling: Shanaya Boyce

Script: Atul Malhotra and Dilnaaz Bharucha

You can support the global initiative by adding the hashtag #IWouldStandForThis to the end of your comments across all social media platforms and join the movement.

Incidentally, Farhad is the son of late Vijay and Dilber Arora. A popular actor, Vijay Arora was a good friend and I had done some work with him in a film called Yaadon Ki Baaraat.

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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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