The Tamil documentary ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ emerged as the winner at the 95th Academy Awards making it a maiden victory for India in the Documentary Short Subject category. The short film made history by becoming the first ever Indian film to win the prestigious award. Kartiki Gonsalves directed the film and was written by Priscilla Gonsalves along with Indian movie producer Guneet Monga.
Now to honour the prestigious win, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced to award of Rs. 1 lakh to Bomman and Bellie who inspired the story of The Elephant Whisperers. He took to his Twitter and while sharing a video wrote, “#TheElephantWhisperers #AcademyAwards and has made our forestry operations globally known. Mr. Bomman – In appreciation of Belli, I gave Rs. 1 lakh and announced Rs. 1 lakh each to 91 workers of Theppakkad & Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camps and Rs. 9.10 crore for building houses.”
The Chief Minister has also ordered the payment of ₹1 lakh each to all the 91 mahouts and cavadis at the Mudumalai and Anamalai elephant camps in Tamil Nadu. The funds will be distributed from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund. Mr. Stalin has also announced funding assistance of ₹9.10 crore for the construction of houses for the mahouts and cavadis.
Kartiki Gonsalves, the director of the documentary also took to Twitter to express love and respect for the humble effort. She wrote, “Overjoyed and so proud to see Bomman and Bellie honoured by our Chief Minister M K Stalin”.
In addition to winning the Academy Awards, the documentary made the shortlist for the DOC NYC, a yearly documentary film festival held in New York. The movie received nominations for Best Short Documentary at the IDA Documentary Awards and for Best Score at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
for the unversed, The Elephant Whisperers tells the story of an indigenous couple named Bomman and Belli, who is entrusted with an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu. The story tracks how a strong bond develops between the couple and the elephant as they attempt to nurse the injured infant to health. It explores themes of how the tribal folks of India live in harmony with nature.
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