English Professor has a Big Hit in Bollywood
Associate Professor of English Abhijat Joshi is the screenwriter of the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time, which collected $52 million worldwide in its first 10 days in theatres.
The film, 3 Idiots, was released on Christmas day in India and internationally to rave reviews and overwhelming audience response. It recently received awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Story, Best Screenplay, Best Dialogue and Best Supporting Actor at the 55th Idea Filmfare Awards in India, and Joshi received the India Abroad Publisher's Special Award for Excellence at the 2009 India Abroad Person of the Year Awards gala.
The film tells the story of three students at a prestigious and highly competitive Indian engineering college who struggle to find themselves in a dehumanizing environment. Like Joshi's previous hit film, Munnabhai Meets Mahatma Gandhi, his newest film combines uproarious humor with a serious social message.
Based on Chetan Bhagat's bestselling English-language novel Five Point Someone, the movie makes some scathing indictments of the Indian education system, a system that screenwriter Joshi is familiar with from his days as a student in Gujarat, India.
3 Idiots enjoyed the best opening weekend ever for an Indian film, grossing $21.4 million worldwide. It opened on 2,126 screens, including 366 internationally, grossing $4.45 million overseas.
Joshi's earlier film, Munnabhai Meets Mahatma Gandhi, earned him the awards for Best Dialogue at the Global Indian Film Awards, Best Dialogue at the Filmfare Awards and Best Screenplay at the National Film Awards in India. It was also the first full-length Indian film ever to be screened at the United Nations in New York City (Nov. 10, 2006).
Joshi's first full-length play, A Shaft of Sunlight, was a runner-up at the BBC World Service Playwriting Contest. His other Bollywood writing credits include Eklayva: The Royal Guard (2007) and Mission Kashmir (2000).
Joshi has taught screenwriting and playwriting at Otterbein College since 2003.
Learn more about Otterbein's Department of English.