Renowned screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, a graduate of the Arts Institute at Bournemouth was awarded an OSCAR for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ at the Academy Awards in Hollywood last night.

The OSCAR award follows a phenomenally successful awards streak for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ with the film taking 8 OSCARS, 7 BAFTA Film Awards, 5 Critics? Choice Awards and 4 Golden Globes among others, with Simon winning Best Writer / Adapted Screenplay in each of these awards ceremonies. In addition, Simon collected the award for Screenwriter of the Year at the London Film Critic’s Circle Awards at the beginning of February, where ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ picked up three of the awards including Best British Film.

Upon collecting his OSCAR, Simon, who wrote the screenplay based on Vikas Swarup’s book Q&A, joked in his speech, “There are certain places in the universe you never imagine standing. For me, it’s the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium and here.”

Simon graduated from the HND Film and Television course at the Institute in 1991 where he produced ‘Release Me’, a half-hour drama which premiered on BBC2 and won five awards at international film festivals. He later went on to write the multi award-winning film ‘The Full Monty’.

The Arts Institute at Bournemouth is part of the Skillset Bournemouth Film and Media Academy, one of Britain’s key centres for filmmaking, television and interactive media. With the success of ‘Slumdog Millionnaire’, the OSCARS proved to be a great night for British filmmaking, as Prime Minister Gordon Brown commented ‘Slumdog Millionaire’s’ triumph [at the Academy Awards], together with Kate Winslet winning Best Actress, is a fantastic achievement for the British film industry which is now leading the world in film. Last night was a great night for Britain.”

‘Slumdog Millionaire’, directed by Danny Boyle (who met with FdA Digital Production and BA (Hons) Animation Production students in 2006 when he was directing ‘Sunshine’) tells the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai who goes on the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. It has so far grossed £67 million at the Box Office – a remarkable feat for a film that cost only £7 million to make.

Professor Stuart Bartholomew, Principal of the Institute said “We have been following Simon’s fantastic progress with great interest and pride and it is extremely rewarding to see one of our Alumni now such a recognised and successful member of his profession. I am sure that ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ ill have secured him even further success in the UK, in Hollywood and indeed in Bollywood. The University Bournemouth (or Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design as it was during Simon’s studies) has also achieved much in recent years and our progress will be further recognised this year as we receive the title of University.”