For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

Oscars 2023: Real story behind ‘The Elephant whisperers’

09:55 AM Mar 13, 2023 IST | Ground Report
oscars 2023  real story behind ‘the elephant whisperers’

On Monday, Kartiki Gonsalves’ ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short at the 95th Academy Awards, highlighting the inseparable bond between an abandoned elephant and its two caretakers in India.

This emotional film, available on Netflix, aims to raise awareness about the connection between humans and animals while promoting elephant conservation.


The movie follows Bomman and Bellie, a couple from Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu, who dedicate themselves to raising two orphaned elephants, Raghu and Ammu, creating an exceptional family bond.

Produced by Sikhya Entertainment, the documentary premiered on November 9th, 2022, at DOC NYC Film Festival, a renowned event for documentaries in the US, and was released worldwide on Netflix on December 8th, 2022.


Audiences and critics have praised the movie for its stunning cinematography, heartwarming plot, and compelling message of compassion and empathy in India.

Short Film Elephant Whisperers

After winning the award, Guneet Monga took to social media and penned, Tonight is historic as this is the first ever Oscar for an Indian production. India’s glory with 2 women.’


She added, ‘Thank you Mom Dad Guruji Shukrana. To my Co-Producer Achin Jain, Team Sikhya, Netlflix, Aloke, Sarafina, WME Bash Sanjana. My lovely Husband Sunny. Happy 3 months anniversary baby! Kartiki for bringing & weaving this story. To all the women watching…. The future is audacious and the future is here. Let’s go! Jai hind.’

Kartiki Gonsalves, a successful wildlife and social documentary photographer, photojournalist, and cinematographer, made her directorial debut with the movie ‘The Elephant Whisperers’. Despite leaving her comfortable job, Gonsalves poured her heart and soul into this film.


The production of ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ was a five-year-long labor of love. Gonsalves and Guneet Monga, the producers of the movie, collaborated closely with the Kattunayakan groups, to which Bomman and Bellie belong. The film was shot in the breathtaking Mudumalai National Park, situated amidst the grandeur of the Nilgiri Mountains in Tamil Nadu.

Real story behind ‘The Elephant whisperers’

‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is a documentary that portrays the heartwarming tale of an indigenous couple, Bomman and Belli, who take care of an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu in Mudumalai National Park, located in Tamil Nadu.


Despite facing several challenges, the couple goes to great lengths to nurse the injured infant back to health and ensure its survival.

As the story unfolds, a deep connection is forged between the couple and the elephant, highlighting the beauty of coexistence between animals and humans. Moreover, the film showcases the natural beauty of the park and explores the lifestyle and culture of the local tribal community, who have lived in harmony with nature for generations.

‘The Elephant Whisperers’ not only captures the emotional bond between an animal and humans, but also showcases the Indian tradition of environmental conservation, making it a heartwarming tribute to the power of nature and human compassion.

Short Film Elephant Whisperers
Release Date8 December 2022
Duration39 Minutes
LanguageTamil, English, Telugu
Story WriterPriscilla Gonsalves
DirectorKartiki Gonsalves
ProducersDouglas BlushKartiki GonsalvesGuneet MongaAchin Jain
CinematographersKaran ThapliyalKrish MakhijaAnand BansalKartiki Gonsalves
EditorsSanchari Das MollickDouglas Blush
MusicSven Faulconer

Keep Reading

Follow Ground Report for Climate Change and Under-Reported issues in India. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterKoo AppInstagramWhatsapp and YouTube. Write us on

Tags :
Author Image

Ground Report

View all posts

Donate us for good journalism

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve relevant ads or content, and analyze our traffic.By continuing to visit this website, you agree to our use of cookies.

tlbr_img1 Climate Glossary tlbr_img2 Video Reports tlbr_img3 Google News tlbr_img4 Donate Us