In a proud moment for India, Netflix's Tamil documentary The Elephant Whisperers, won the award for Best Documentary Short award on Monday. It is a moving story of the bond between two abandoned elephants and their caretakers in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. It was up against Haulout, How Do You Measure a Year?, The Martha Mitchell Effect and Stranger at the Gate.
Directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga, the 39-minute documentary was among three Indian titles vying for an Oscar this year. Shaunak Sen's documentary feature All That Breathes lost out to Navalny in the Best Documentary Feature Film category as the awards were declared at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
According to Gonsalves, stories are at the heart of human existence. Her debut project began with a simple curiosity that she had when she spotted a man walking alongside the road with an elephant calf during her journey from Bangalore to Ooty. The filmmaker had earlier said she hoped to highlight the importance of indigenous people and their role in preserving the wildlife.Gonsalves said when there are so many stories about the danger of animals, she was keen to show the love and connection they have with humans.
Monga, who has worked on films such as The Lunchbox”and Oscar-winning short documentary Period. End of Sentence boarded the project around three years ago when the streamer approached her.