Team

Siraj Zaidi

The director and founder of the The Indian film festival of Ireland. He is the first person to distribute Indian films in the theatres in Ireland back in the 1990’s. He is a professional actor trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.  He has been part of critically acclaimed TV series Samvidhaan directed by Shyam Benegal and also several international film and television projects such as The Tailor of PanamaGlenroe, Fair City, Halal Daddy(RTE), Yes Minister, The Bailout. Mr. Zaidi is also a script writer and director. He is currently developing a slate of several cross cultural international feature films and a web series as a producer. He is  a highly respected name in the artistic community between Ireland and India.

Cliona Buckley

A Solicitor by profession. She has a wide range of interest in the world of Arts. A huge collector of paintings and member of several Art Galleries, Cliona’s passion for the world of Cinema is equally huge. She has travelled to India and adores Indian Cinema. Her association with IFFI goes back to almost eight years and supports the festival as an active team member.

Giovanna Rampazzo

Giovanna Rampazzo has collaborated with the Indian Film Festival of Ireland since its inception. She started her PhD on the circulation of Indian cinema in Dublin shortly after the first edition of the festival. The event soon became part of her research, which was completed in 2016. Since she joined the IFFI team, Giovanna has been organising screenings of festival films at DIT – now TU Dublin; hosting screenings in various venues; writing content for the festival programme and film descriptions; liaising with Indian filmmakers in Dublin to showcase their work at the festival.

Uma Magal

Ms Magal received her B.A. from the Lady Shriram College, Delhi ; M.A. in Political Science from the University of Hyderabad and an M.A. in Communciation from the Mass Communication Research Centre, J. M. I., Delhi. During her years in the US she earned an MFA in film production from Temple University, produced a PBS weekly series, “News 6”, with 6th grade schoolchildren, taught at San Francisco State and Temple Universities, served on the boards of Asian Arts Initiative and Independent Film and Video Association in Philadelphia. She worked with the Scribe Video Centre to facilitate media literacy and the use of video as an empowering tool, particularly for disenfranchised communities.
Read More...
On returning to India she served as independent faculty at COMMITS - Bengaluru, The University of Hyderabad, The Annapurna Film School and Rama Naidu Film School. She has worked in diverse capacities in the theatre, including lead actor, in Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. She served on the board of the Community Radio Station “Bol Hyderabad” at the University of Hyderabad. She served as the secretary of the international Asian Film Society which brings out the journal “Asian Cinema”. She has several publications in the journal and has presented papers at various cinema conferences. She is an independent writer on film and theatre for magazines and newspapers including the Hindu, Tehelka, The Hans India etc.  Based on interviews conducted during pre-production research for latest documentary on the rocks of Hyderabad she wrote a bimonthly column for 18 months titled “Rockscapes” in the Hindu newspaper. Her book, (co-authored), “Rasayana for Childcare: Joy of Herbs and Healing” on using medicinal plants from the home and garden was published by Partridge Press.

Ms Magal owns fenugreek productions, a studio delivering film and media services with clients in India and the U.S. She makes films for IHST, Bengaluru and supports their drive for pluralistic healthcare. She is currently editing a documentary titled “Aftertones” for Dr Leela Prasad of Duke University, USA. Her feature documentary “The Players” (co-produced and co-directed by Uma Magal along with Gautam Sonti) was acquired by NDTV, the premier television channel in India and broadcast nationally. She is currently based in Dublin, Ireland and is in post-production for the feature documentary on the rocks of Hyderabad titled: “Other Kohinoors, The Rocks of Hyderabad.” which is partially produced by the Goethe Zentrum.

Shohini De

Born and raised in a Bengali family in Kolkata, India, under the guidance of a mother who had very strong root in literature and performing arts, it was no surprise that she got exposed to music, dance and acting from a very young age. This meant she started her public performance journey at the age of 5yrs and it spanned stage, radio and television. However to Sohini, movies were where her imaginations were met!
Read More...
Love for cinema blossomed with Satyajit Ray’s Goopy Gyne Bhaga Byne but Maria of Sound of music fascinated her equally. So grew the magic of cinema, it continues even today.  Life took over as an investment banker for 22 years followed by her passion of entrepreneurship. But even in the midst of the madness of running a tech startup in Ireland and abroad, her biggest route of stress management is enjoying movies of different genres. Her very love for movies encourages her to work with the dedicated team of IFFI and help them bring such amazing movies to Ireland for everyone to enjoy.

Urbii Biswas

Hailing from a Bengali family and growing up in Kolkata, Urbii was artistically inclined to take singing lessons in Rabindrasangeet, Nazrulgeeti and Indian Classical from her early childhood days. She is also well versed in Bengali poetry. Kolkata, the capital state of West Bengal, India is also known as a the Cultural Capital of India because of its rich traditions, arts and values. It is the birthplace of British Empire, hometown of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel Prize in Literature 1913), Mother Teresa (Nobel Peace Prize 1979) and filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Over the time she grew a keen interest not only in cinemas from different parts of India but also from different parts of the world.
Read More...
After working for a few years in India as a software professional, she made a career move to Ireland, to pursue Masters degree in International management and Global business. While working in a software company in Dublin, Ireland she later on made her first move into production with a music video for a song called Rupchik, which was filmed in India. Following on from that, Urbii furthered her knowledge by joining Pulse College in Dublin on a Film Production course where she has been involved in many western orientated short movies in different roles including Producer, Production designer, Writer & Director.  Her newest endeavour is getting involved in the production side of the Indian Film Festival of Ireland, joining the existing team for the first time in 2019.