Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia is all set to direct a biopic on Indian cricketer Palwankar Baloo. The film, which will be titled, Baloo has been written by the 49-year-old director and Darab Farooqui. Baloo will be co-produced by Vinay, Priti Sinha and Namrata Sinha. Palwankar Baloo was the first member of the Dalit caste to make a significant impact on the sport. Speaking to news agency PTI, Tigmanshu Dhulia said: "I prefer telling stories about unsung heroes. Like Paan Singh, Baloo Palwankar too is unknown outside cricketing circle. His story is the story of India and what better backdrop to have than cricket." The shoot for Baloo is expected to begin next year. Historian Dr Ramachandra Guha is reportedly carrying out the research work of the movie.
"Tigmanshu had read a book by Ramachandra Guha which had a chapter about Baloo. He asked me to read it too because the story was absolutely fascinating. He not only played cricket but also entered politics later. His life is worth putting on the big screen," PTI quoted producer Priti Sinha as saying. Despite of being one of the finest cricketers of his time, Palwankar Baloo was not allowed to lead the team as a captain because he belonged to a lower caste. Baloo Palwankar, who was a left-arm spinner, played for the Hindu Gymkhana Club in the early 1900s.
Speaking to PTI, the producer of the film said that a no objection certificate from Palwankar Baloo's family had been obtained. The makers of the film are reportedly looking to cast an A-list Bollywood celebrity.
Tigmanshu Dhulia directed his first feature film in 2003, titled, Haasil. He gained international recognition with his 2010 movie Paan Singh Tomar. The film, which starred Irrfan Khan in lead role, was premiered at the 2010 British Film Institute London Film Festival. At the 60th National Film Awards, Paan Singh Tomar won the Best Feature Film and the Best Actor award.
(With PTI inputs)