The Elephant Whisperers bags Oscar Award for best documentary short subject

Directed and produced by Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga respectively, The Elephant Whisperers has won the best documentary short subject at the 95th Academy Awards. 

The Elephant Whisperers is Kartiki Gonsalves’ directorial debut and the first Indian production to win an Oscar. It was indeed a proud moment for India on 13 March 2023 to witness the two ladies receive the trophy on stage. The director thanked the Academy, producer Guneet Monga, her family, and “motherland India”. 

In her acceptance speech, Kartiki Gonsalves said, “ I stand here to speak today about the sacred bond between us and the natural world, for the respect of indigenous communities, and empathy towards other living beings we share space with and finally, for coexistence.”

The 40 min long Netflix film is the first Indian film to win this prestigious award in this category. Two other Indian films nominated in the best documentary short category in the past were The House that Ananda Built (1969) and An Encounter with Faces (1979). This year, the other four nominees in the category were Haulout, The Martha Mitchell Effect, Stranger at the Gate, and How Do You Measure a Year?

Set in Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu, the award-winning film is the story of an orphaned elephant calf- Raghu, who is in the care of an indigenous couple Bomman and Belli. The couple belongs to the Kattunayakan community, a tribal group that has been protecting the forest for generations. The film celebrates not only the sacred bond between Raghu and the couple but also the sacred bond humans have with nature and raises awareness about coexistence.     

You can watch the film at-


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