New Delhi— Ankush Gedam, who stars as Ankush Don in the film "Jhund," won the Best Debut (Male) award at the 68th Filmfare Awards held on April 27, at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. Bhushan, brother of director Nagraj Manjule, spotted Ankush dancing at a Ganpati Visarjan programme in Nagpur, and Nagraj Manjule knew that he would be the perfect choice to play the role of a slum dweller in "Jhund." After an audition, the lead role was given to Ankush, who portrays the character of Ankush Don, a slum dweller who overcomes obstacles to become a footballer.
Nagraj Manjule must have felt vindicated after Ankush Gedam won the award for Best Debut (Male) .The film is based on the life of Vijay Barse, a retired sports teacher who founded an organization for underprivileged children called "Slum Soccer." The role of Vijay Barse was played by megastar Amitabh Bachchan, while Akash Thosar, Rinku Rajguru, Sayli Patil, and others also starred in the film. Nagraj Manjule makes a small appearance as "Hitler Bhai."
Gedam's sister, who lives with him in the Gaddi Godam area, a slum cluster of Nagpur, revealed to the local media that movies were not Ankush's first love. He aspired to join the forces and focused on his physique, running a lot. However, as an average student, he couldn't qualify the written exam and missed passing by a few marks. Nevertheless, his hard work on his fitness and agility paid off, and Ankush pulled off the role of Ankush Don.
Director Nagraj Manjule spoke to a magazine and praised Ankush, saying, "I like the way he runs; it reminds me of the swag carried by Amitabh Bachchan when he runs." "Jhund" explores themes of hope, perseverance, and the transformative power of sports in the lives of disadvantaged youth.
Ankush Gedam's win at the Filmfare Awards is a further boost for Nagraj Manjule and his team. However, it is Ankush Gedam's remarkable journey from a dancing slum dweller in Nagpur to a winner at the Filmfare Awards that makes his story worth telling.
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