(This article is authored by Alar)
The picture that's taking the internet by storm features Bomman and Belli, the indigenous couple from Kartiki Gonsalves' documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers'. The couple is seen smiling ear to ear as they hold the prestigious Oscar award they helped bring home. The documentary made Oscars history last week, taking home the trophy for Best Documentary Short Film at the 95th annual ceremony.
Kartiki Gonsalves met with Bomman and Belli and she posted on Instagram, "It’s been a long four months since we’ve been apart and now I feel like I’m home…" The post received countless of likes and comments from fans who congratulated them on their achievement, as the picture shows them holding the golden statuette and smiling for the camera.
Composer Vishal Dadlani said, "Easily my favourite Oscars picture ever." and comment space filled only with love saying, "The whole world wanted to see this picture. Thanks for sharing.", " I think now we need a photo of the Oscar with Raghu and Ammu!", and "Thanks for finally placing it in the hands of these beautiful people."
The Elephant Whisperers is a short documentary that tells the story of Bomman and Belli, who belong to the Kattunayakan community, a tribal group that has been protecting the forest for generations. They live in the Theppakadu Elephant Camp inside the Mudumulai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, where they took care for an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu. The film explores the precious bond that develops between them as well as the natural beauty and cultural relevance of their surroundings.
The film made history by becoming the first Indian production to win an Oscar in the Best Documentary Short Subject category at the 95th Academy Awards last week. It also marked a historic moment for women filmmakers as Kartiki Gonsalves became the first Indian woman to direct an Oscar-winning documentary and Guneet Monga became the first Indian woman to produce one.
Netflix also took to Twitter and share the picture by writing, "Cheering for the elephant whisperers that spread love through the world". The film has also received accolades from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said it "wonderfully highlights the importance of sustainable development and living in harmony with nature". He also lauded the filmmakers for their "exceptional creativity".
To prestige, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin awarded Kartiki Gonsalves, the documentary's director, with a cash prize of Rs 1 crore and presented Bomman and Belli, the caretakers, with checks for Rs 1 lakh each. In the wake of the Academy Awards, the elephant camp has been inundated with visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the baby jumbo who stole the show in the winning documentary.
Cheering for the elephant whisperers that spread love through the world ❤️🥺 pic.twitter.com/nytYldMUd2— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) March 23, 2023