‘No one was willing to fund my research’

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia talks about the joys and challenges of directing ‘Paan Singh Tomar’

Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ is easily 2012’s first surprise hit and has swiftly managed to oust every other film at the box office. Releasing only in 200 screens, it cashed in 5 crores in the opening weekend itself and has managed to pull in a net of 6 crores and counting as of Tuesday. Dhulia is obviously happy with the response that he has got for a film that had been lying in the shelf for months. He talks about the joys and challenges in directing this magnum opus story of a dacoit and a national-level athlete in a candid chat with Yahoo! India.

What was the starting point for ‘Paan Singh Tomar’?

I was assisting Shekhar Kapoor in ‘Bandit Queen’ in 1990-1991, when I first read about Paan Singh Tomar in a magazine and I had thought to myself that when I become a director, I would love to make a film on him. It was great material for a movie, given the number of ups and downs in his life. But as it turned out my first film wasn’t on him for whatever reason. And then it was an idea that lingered in the back of my mind. Each time I went to producers to pitch the idea, they asked me for a script but no one was willing to find the research. But finally, UTV agreed to sponsor my research and I could gather some information about him.

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