Netflix’s short documentary, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’, becomes the first film produced in India to win at the 95th Oscars for “Documentary Short Film” category. Producer Guneet Monga and director Kartiki Gonsalves who helmed this docu-short feature also created history by becoming the first Indian producer and director to achieve this recognition. They are also the first Indian woman producer and director to win an Academy Award. The Elephant Whisperers is produced by Guneet Monga and Achin Jain under the banner of Sikhya Entertainment.
On winning the prestigious awards producer Guneet Monga says, “Tonight was powerful and historic as two women from India stood on the Oscars stage, lauded for their work. I’m so proud of The Elephant Whisperers, so proud of this moment and proud of my amazing team at Sikhya Entertainment. That an independent production house from India has made history and produced the first ever Indian film to win an Oscar, still feels unreal. My heart is full of joy, love and excitement, most of it imbibed from everyone in India cheering for our win. I’m so grateful to the visionary filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves and to Netflix who gave us the biggest stage in the world, believing in us all the way. To women who want to tell stories, the future of cinema is audacious, the future is here. This is for my beautiful, diverse country, India.”
In the Academy winning speech Director Kartiki Gonsalves proudly said “The documentary allowed me to speak about the sacred bond between us and our natural world- for the respect of indigenous communities and the empathy towards other living beings we share our space with. And finally for co-existence. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing our film, highlighting indigenous people and animals, to Netflix for believing in the power of this film, to Bomman & Bellie for sharing their sacred wisdom and finally, to Guneet my Producer, Sikhya Entertainment, and my entire team.”
The Elephant Whisperers is a heart-warming story of an indigenous couple who have been given an orphaned elephant, Raghu, to look after. The story follows the couple’s journey as they relentlessly work to ensure Raghu’s recovery and survival. The short documentary beautifully stitches the tale of how the couple falls in love with the majestic creature over the course of time. Set against the backdrop of the wild spaces of South India, The Elephant Whisperers highlights the beauty of exotic wildlife, unforgettable untamed spaces, and the people and animals who share this space.
The Elephant Whisperers and Nattu Nattu from RRR (Hindi) were the first Indian wins at the 95th Academy Awards, ever. Both films are streaming on Netflix around the world.