Tamil documentary The Elephant Whisperers brings Oscar to India. The documentary won Best Documentary Short at the 95th Academy Awards making it a maiden victory for India in the Documentary Short Subject category. The film's director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Monga went up on stage to pick the golden statue. The film is available on Netflix.
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.
The Elephant Whisperers depicts an unbreakable bond between two abandoned elephants and their caretakers. It is produced by Guneet Monga and Achin Jain of Sikhya Entertainment. In her winning speech, Gonsalves dedicated the award to her family and her motherland India.
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.
Days prior to the Oscars, Guneet Monga had spoken exclusively to WION about The Elephant Whisperer and stated the film took five years to make. "Kartiki has been associated to the project for 5 years and I have been with it for three and a half years. And Netflix came on board the project eventually and we made the movie happen," Monga had said.
"It took a while because we had 450 hours of footage with us, lots of shots of the jungle. It's a venerated documentary that takes time to unfold cause real life is happening. So that's been our journey on it, Kartiki found this story, credit for that goes to her and I was overjoyed to support a woman director," Monga added.