Tamil documentary “The Elephant Whisperers” emerged as the winner at the 95th Academy Awards, making it a maiden victory for India in the Documentary Short Subject category.
Directed by Kartiki Gonsalves, the Netflix documentary bested “Haulout”, “How Do You Measure a Year?”, “The Martha Mitchell Effect” and “Stranger at the Gate” to scoop the trophy.
“I stand here today to speak for the sacred bond between us and our natural world, for the respect of indigenous communities, and empathy towards other living beings we share space with and finally, for coexistence,” Gonsalves said in her acceptance speech.
The director went on to thank the Academy, producer Guneet Monga, her family and dedicated the win to her “Motherland India”.
“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing our film, highlighting indigenous people and animals.. To Netflix for believing in the power of this… To Bomman and Belli for sharing their sacred tribal wisdom to Guneet, my producer…
“My mentor and my entire team and finally, to my mother, father and sister who are up there somewhere and you are the center of my universe, to my motherland India,” she added.
“The Elephant Whisperers” depicts an unbreakable bond between two abandoned elephants and their caretakers. It is produced by Monga and Achin Jain of Sikhya Entertainment.
Earlier, two entries were set in India – “Smile Pinki” and “Period. End Of Sentence”, won Oscars for Documentary Short. Monga was the executive producer on “Period”.
“The Elephant Whisperers” producer Guneet Monga | Photo credit: REUTERS