Abhijat Joshi, an alumnus of the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin and Bollywood's hottest screenwriter, has been named the Graduate School's Outstanding Graduate Alumnus for 2011.
Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Victoria Rodríguez will present the award at the doctoral convocation in May.
Joshi, who earned a master of fine arts degree in 2002, has written for Bollywood's biggest blockbusters of all time, including "Mission Kashmir," "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" and "Three Idiots." Bollywood is the popular term used for the Hindi-language film industry in India. Joshi's most recent work is the much anticipated English language debut film, Broken Horses (to be filmed in Mexico and parts of Texas). He has been awarded numerous honors for his screenwriting, including a National Film Award and three Zine Cine Awards (shared with producer Vinhu Vinod Chopra, the "Steven Spielberg of India," and director Rajkumar Hirani) for "Lage Raho Munna Bhai."
"Lage Raho Munna Bhai" is one of the biggest critical and popular successes to come out of Indian film. As screenwriter, Joshi worked closely with Chopra to develop scenes and dialog for the film, which is credited with driving a 400 percent increase in sales of literature by and about Gandhi. The movie received India's highest film honor -- the National Film Award -- and was given a standing ovation when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
"Three Idiots" recently received awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Story, Best Screenplay, Best Dialogue and Best Supporting Actor at the Filmfare Awards in India. Joshi was awarded the India Abroad Publisher's Special Award for Excellence at the 2009 India Abroad Person of the Year Awards gala.
Joshi balances his screenwriting with his position as an associate professor in the Department of English at Otterbein College in Ohio where he teaches screenwriting and playwriting among other courses.