Oscar’s 95th Academy Awards was held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science on March 12, 2023 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angels; honoring the films released in 2022. India bags 2 Oscars for South Indian Movies. ‘Naatu Naatu’ from RRR- An Indian Telugu movie song to win the ‘Best Original Song Award’ at the Golden Globe Awards, Academy Awards and the first song from an Asian film to win the latter. The Award was received by composer MM Keeravani and lyricist Chandrabose. Meanwhile, Kartiki Gonsalves directed movie ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ won the Academy Award in the ‘Best Documentary Short Subject’ Category. Kartiki Gonsalves and the producer of the film Guneet Monga received the Award.
The film was released by Netflix globally on 8 December 2022 for streaming. It is notable that, earlier this Documentary was nominated for Hollywood Music in Media Awards (2022), IDA Documentary Awards (2022) and shortlisted in DOC NYC Awards.
‘The Elephant Whisperer’- A Life Story
‘The Elephant Whisperer’ is an Indian Tamil language short Documentary film. The story was set in the Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu. It is the tale of an orphaned elephant calf named Raghu in the care of Bomman and Belli, an indigenous couple. The story highlights the beauty of man and animals working together in a positive way. The movie manifested the childishness within the elephant and portrays a wildlife conservation instinct. It also explores the life of the tribal people in harmony with nature.
The Bomman-Belli couple, who acted in it said that they are exultant to have received an Oscar award for the short documentary film ‘The Elephant Whisperers’, which embraces their life story.
Kartiki Gonsalves- As GRD Student
Kartiki Gonsalves, was the former student of DR G R Damodaran College of Science, Coimbatore. She is a Documentary filmmaker, photographer and has worked as a camera operator with Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. She’s also an Associate Fellow of The International League of Conservation Photographers.
In her Award winning speech, Kartiki Gonsalves said, “I stand here today to speak on the sacred bond between us and our natural world. For the respect of indigenous communities. For entity towards other living beings, we share our space with. And finally for co-existence.” And added “Thank you, to the academy for recognizing our film highlighting indigenous people and animals. To Netflix for believing in the power of this film. To Guneet my Producer and my entire team and finally, to my mother father and sister who are up there somewhere, you’re the centre of my universe and ‘To my motherland India’.”
“To take this documentary, it took over 450 hours and that was covered over a duration of 5 years from 2017 till September 2022”, said Kartiki.
Guneet Monga, producer, The Elephant Whisperer wrote, “Tonight is historic as this is the first-ever Oscar for an Indian production India’s Glory with 2 women. Thank you Mom Dad Guruji Shukrana. To my Co-Producer Achin Jain, Team Sikhya, Netlflix, Aloke, Sarafina, WME Bash Sanjana, My lovely Husband Sunny and Kartiki for bringing & weaving this story.” In her speech, she added, “To all the women watching…. The future is audacious and the future is here. Let’s go! Jai Hind!”
While speaking on Kartiki’s achievement, her Alumni Institution GRD, Department of Visual Communication, Head, Prof. Sasikala said, “Our former student Kartiki Gonsalves made India proud by winning the Oscar award. We feel very glad that GRD College has also contributed to this recognition of India. It gave us surreal happiness to us. Individual interest is the driving force behind such great achievements. Moreover, as a woman, she might have gone through many hardships in media and now she stands as a successful woman.”
Kartiki- A Positive Inspiration
“Now every parent is afraid of not getting a job if their children study visual communication course. Kartiki proved that when you take something that you are passionate about and do it with a positive attitude, you can conquer anything. She will be a positive inspiration to students who choose Visual Communication as their career”, said Prof. Sasikala, Head, Dept. of Viscom, GRD.
GRD prioritize Alumni
“We give priority to our Alumni and recognize them by inviting them as Chief Guest for many events. We update our curriculum every year and for the best outcome, our management supports us with talented faculty and by developing infrastructure. Equivalent Industry exposure like Metropolitan City has been provided to the students. Organizing Short film festivals, Public Relations campaigns, exhibitions, fairs, internships, and placement opportunities helps the students in establishing their skills. GRD has State of Art Infrastructure with Studio Preview Theatre which was constructed exclusively for students”, said Prof. Sasikala, Head, Dept. of Viscom, GRD.