Low Budget Movies which went on to become Blockbusters

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10Paan Singh Tomar


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Paan Singh Tomar is a 2012 biographical film based on the true story of the athlete Paan Singh Tomar. A soldier in the Indian Army, he wins a gold medal at the Indian National Games, but is forced to become a notorious bandit. The film is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by UTV Motion Pictures. Irrfan Khan plays the title role, with Mahie Gill, Vipin Sharma and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the supporting cast.

Made on a shoestring budget of ₹45 million, Paan Singh Tomar premiered at the 2010 British Film Institute London Film Festival. The film was released domestically on 2 March 2012 to critical acclaim and emerged as a superhit at the box-office, with a domestic net of ₹384 million. The film won the Best Feature Film and Best Actor in the 60th National Film Awards 2012.

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia first learned about Tomar while working on the set of Bandit Queen in Chambal. Intrigued that Tomar was largely forgotten despite holding several records, he resolved to make a film about his life. Dhulia researched the film’s background for two years, interviewing Tomar’s surviving family members and visiting his native village in Bhind. Dhulia wanted to make the film after fully researching on Tomar. But that would need a lot of money. So this caused Dhulia to work on it over 10 years.

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