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Producers of Ramdas Athawale biopic trying to get Nagraj Popatrao Manjule on board as director


Athawale, founder of the Republican Party of India (A), is currently the minister of state for social justice and empowerment in the Narendra Modi government, and represents Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha.  

Ramdas Athawale and Nagraj Popatrao Manjule

Keyur Seta

With Rajkumar Hirani's biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, titled Sanju, breaking box office records, Hindi cinema has another biopic in the making. Panther, a film on politician and Dalit leader Ramdas Athawale, is all set to take off.

Box office: Sanju becomes Ranbir Kapoor's 1st film to bag Rs200 crore in first week

The film's makers want Nagraj Popatrao Manjule, director of the Marathi blockbuster Sairat (2016), to helm the film.

“It’s not just a socio-political drama, I would rather say it’s an entertainment movie which covers most of the elements of a masala entertainer and also conveys the message. We are looking to have a great team, and are in talks with noted directors and yes, one of them is Sairat’s director Mr. Nagraj Manjule,” Rakesh Tak, producer and head of ADR Creations, said in an official statement.  

The name of the lead actor has not been revealed yet.

Athawale, founder of the Republican Party of India (A), is currently the minister of state for social justice and empowerment in the Narendra Modi government, and represents Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha.  

Speaking on his experience interacting with Athawale, Tak said, “Honestly, in our first meeting when we went to his house to discuss the movie script. Athawale ji viewed the presentation and research material we were carrying. It did not take more than 15-20 minutes for me and my partners to convince Athawale ji to make a film on the panther movement, his life and his journey.”

Athawale, however, does not consider the film to be his biopic, but believes it narrates the story of the Dalits.

“I would like to say that this movie isn’t based on my life alone. It’s based on the lives of Dalits. The lead character of this movie — Panther — follows the principles of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, fights for the right of Dalits. He’s a very bold character. This movie will hopefully guide the thoughts and opinions of Indians. I am very thankful for the producer of the movie, Rakesh Tak, to come out with the idea of making a movie like Panther,” Athawale said in the statement.

Below is a teaser shot by the film's makers: