Elephant Whispers director Karthik Gonsalves returned to India on Monday with an Oscar in hand. It won Best Documentary Short at the 95th Academy Awards on March 12. The documentary follows two indigenous elephant caretakers at an elephant camp in Tamil Nadu who foster orphaned elephant calves, forming a strong bond with them. Karthik also met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, who felicitated the filmmaker for his historic Oscar and announced a cash award. One crore to Oscar winning filmmaker (Also Read: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin lauds The Elephant Whispers Caretakers on winning Oscar, releases cash award,
A video of the conversation was also shared on Twitter. The Chief Minister and Kartiki posed for pictures with the Oscar trophy and were later presented with the check 1 crore to him for his achievement. The director wore a maroon printed dress for the meeting.
Earlier this month, MK Stalin also met the caretaker couple Bomman and Bailey, who were featured in the documentary along with young elephants Raghu and Ammu. The Tamil Nadu government announced several cash prizes for all 91 caretakers at elephant camps in the state, as well as new upgrades to the facility.
Karthik was seen arriving at the airport in India and received a warm welcome as soon as he stepped out of the airport gate. The director, dressed in a black jacket, shirt and pants, was seen holding the Oscar trophy and was greeted by well-wishers. Karthik and the producer both Guneet Monga He has been welcomed as a hero after his return to India. It is the first Indian documentary production to win the trophy.
After winning the award, the first-time filmmaker had shared in a statement, “[The Elephant Whisperers] Allow me to speak about the sacred bond between us and our natural world—to respect indigenous communities and to have empathy for the other living beings with whom we share our space. And finally to coexistence. The Academy for recognizing our film, for highlighting indigenous people and animals, Netflix for believing in the power of this film, Bowman & Bailey for sharing their sacred wisdom and finally, my producer, Sikhya Entertainment, and thank you to my whole being. Team.”