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Ashutosh Gowariker On Toolsidas Junior’s National Award Win: ‘What Makes It More Special Is…’


Twenty-one years after winning his first National Award for the legendary film Lagaan, the cinematic maestro Ashutosh Gowariker bags the National Award again for his production ‘Toolsidas Junior’. Co-produced by Sunita Gowariker, Bhushan Kumar, Krishna Kumar, under the banners of Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Private Limited and T-Series, and directed by Mridul Toolsidass, the film has won two National Awards, announced on Friday, 22nd July.

‘Toolsidas Junior’ bagged the Best Hindi Film Award at the 68th National Film Awards for the year 2020, while the lead actor of the film Varun Buddhadev earned the Special Mention in feature films under the child actor category. Interestingly, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan as well as Toolsidas Junior, both based on sports backgrounds hold human emotions at their core, have struck gold at the National Awards.

Based on the real life story of the director and former snooker player Mridul Toolsidass, ‘Toolsidas Junior’ is the first sports film based on the game, unfolding the emotional story of his childhood and bond with father, played by Varun Buddhadev and late veteran actor Rajiv Kapoor respectively.

Talking about the victory, Ashutosh Gowariker shares, “It is a great honour to be bestowed with the coveted award again. What makes it even more special is that ‘Toolsidas Junior’ has been my first ever production venture. We at AGPPL, took the plunge to create a platform for young and talented directors to tell their stories, and I extremely overjoyed to witness such fruits to our efforts. Sports genre has always been dear to my heart, after Lagaan, now Toolsidas has won me the highest honour for yet another sports drama.”

Director Mridul Toolsidass shares, “I cannot imagine a greater tribute to both, my real and reel fathers, as we win this award today. ‘Toolsidas Junior’ was my passion project to pay an ode to my father, which was played by Rajiv Kapoor on screen. Unfortunately, my father as well as Rajiv sir passed away before the release of the film, however, I am sure it was their blessings that has resulted in this victory today.”

The Screenplay by Mridul and Ashutosh is set in Kolkata. Toolsidas Junior presents the story of a Snooker champion played by Rajiv Kapoor who succumbs to alcohol addiction resulting in the inability to win the trophy. Determined to shine his family name on the winner’s board, his son, Toolsidas Junior undertakes special coaching by former Indian champion played by Sanjay Dutt to bag the trophy at the Snooker championship.

Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Ashutosh Gowariker and Sunita Gowariker, the film written and directed by Mridul Toolsidass.

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