Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin today met Boman and Bailey, the indigenous couple who featured in the Oscar-winning documentary short film. Elephant whispering.
Mr Stalin felicitated the couple and announced an award of Rs 1 lakh each to them. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister awarded Rs 1 lakh each to all 91 workers in two elephant camps in the state. Additionally, the staff of the elephant camps will find eco-friendly and culturally sensitive homes. Mr. Stalin announced that a new camp would be set up in Coimbatore.
“The film has drawn the world’s attention to the care of elephants by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department,” Stalin said.
Set in Tamil Nadu, The Elephant Whispers tells the story of an orphaned elephant calf named Raghu, who is placed in the care of Bomman and Bailey, an indigenous couple from the Kattunayakan tribe living in the picturesque Mudumalai forests of the Nilgiris.
The 40-minute documentary, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga, celebrates the bond that develops between the elephant and the couple.
After the film’s Oscar win, tourists are visiting Mudumalai Theppakadu Elephant Camp in large numbers to catch a glimpse of the baby elephant.
Ms. Gonsalves said in her victory speech, “I stand here today to speak on the sacred bond between us and our natural world. For respect for indigenous communities. For survival for other living beings, we share our space. Do. And finally co-exist.
“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing our film that highlights Indian people and animals. To Netflix for believing in the power of this film. To Guneet to my producers and my entire team and lastly, to my parents and sister , who are there somewhere.” You are the center of my universe. For my motherland India.
The other four nominees in the Documentary Short category were Hallout, The Martha Mitchell Effect, Stranger at the Gate, and How Do You Measure a Year? elephant whispering It is the first Indian film to win an Oscar in this category.