The Elephant Whisperers, about a pair of elderly caretakers at a wildlife reserve in Tami Nadu, won the Best Documentary (Short) category at the Oscars. The event was held in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Kartiki Gonsalves’s film has been produced by Guneet Monga, who has previously co-produced the 2018 winner Period. End of Sentence.

In her acceptance speech, Gonsalves, who was flanked by Guneet Monga, said, “I stand here today to speak for the sacred bond between us and our natural world, for the respect of indigenous communities, and empathy towards other living beings we share space with and finally, for coexistence.” She dedicated her award to “my motherland India”.

As observed in its review: “How on earth will Oscar voters find the strength to resist a documentary about two adorable baby elephants and their equally lovable elderly caretakers? Indeed, it will take a pachyderm’s hide – and a heart of stone – to ignore a 41-minute montage of ‘awwww’.” Read the full review here: ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is cuteness unlimited.

Monga tweeted: “Two women did this! I am still shivering.”

In a press statement issued after the awards, Monga said, “This is an incredibly powerful and historical moment. We as two women from India, stood on that global stage making this historical win. I’m so proud of this film, this moment and proud of my amazing team at Sikhya Entertainment, that an independent production house from India has made the history to be the first ever Indian film by an Indian production to win an Oscar. My heart is racing with all the joy, love, excitement in the moment. I’m so grateful to Kartiki, the wonderful visionary that she is. Netflix gave us the biggest stage in the world and supported us and believed in us all the way. Today I can say, the future for Indian cinema is audacious, the future is here and not to forget the future is truly female!”

The documentary is available on Netflix.

The Elephant Whisperers (2022).