Producer Guneet Monga is no stranger to the Oscars. In 2019, Period. End of Sentence, on which she served as an executive producer, bagged the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Now, four years later, her documentary The Elephant Whisperers has been shortlisted for the 95th Academy Awards. This documentary marks the directorial debut of Kartiki Gonsalves.
Expressing her happiness about The Elephant Whisperer getting nominated, Guneet Monga said, “I feel so honoured to see The Elephant Whisperers reach the global stage with the 95th Oscar nominations as a producer and a filmmaker from India. It’s incredible to see how far our short documentary from the quaint town of Ooty has come. It is truly a testimony of the wonders that support from incredible platforms such as Netflix can do.”
Thanking her team, she said, “My relentless team at Sikhya Entertainment, Achin Jain, and incredible India which is full of colours and wonderful stories- this is for you.”
Director Kartiki Gonsalves added, “It’s such an honour to have an Indian Indigenous documentary from the heart of South India acknowledged across the world. Thank you, members, of the Academy for nominating The Elephant Whisperers. I am very thankful to the wonderful team at Netflix for believing in the power of this truly unique family story which showcases the lovely sacred bond between man and animal.”
She added, “The Elephant Whisperers is a hopeful story of respect for and cooperation with nature in an era rife with conflict and denial of the threats to our beautiful planet.’ We hope this film helps create more awareness, empathy, and connection to elephants and other living beings that we share our spaces with.”
Talking about her journey, Kartiki Gonsalves expressed, “It took five years to make my debut documentary The Elephant Whisperers, a long personal journey from the place I call home, that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Kattunayakan Community, who opened their hearts and trusted us with their unique experiences and a pathway ahead. On behalf of Bomman, Bellie, and our beautiful elephant friends Raghu and Ammu, we are thrilled to receive this great honour.”
The Elephant Whisperers is a heartwarming 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 along the course of time. Set against the background of life in the wild spaces of South India The Elephant Whisperers highlights the beauty of exotic wildlife, unforgettable wild spaces, and the people and animals who share this space.
Where to watch The Elephant Whisperers
The Elephant Whisperers is streaming on Netflix.