Who Is Kartiki Gonsalves? Director Of Oscar Winner ‘The Elephant Whisperers’

Kartiki Gonsalves
The Elephant Whisperers created history at the Oscars when it won in the Best Documentary Short Subject category. The film marks the first Indian film to win an Oscar in the category. Director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Monga took the stage to accept the award.

In her winning speech, the director Gonsalves spoke about the “sacred bond” between people and the world and co-existence.

The director concluded her speech by saying “To my motherland India.”

The film revolves around orphaned elephants and the family who adopts them in Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The Oscar winner tracks the bond that develops between the couple and the elephant as they nurse the injured infant to health.

The song Naatu Naatu from the film RRR also won the award for Best Original Song. India’s nomination for the Best Documentary Feature All That Breathes lost the award to Navalny.


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Producer Guneet Monga tweeted, “Two women did this! I am still shivering.”

In a press statement after the awards, she described it as an incredibly powerful and historical moment. “We as two women from India, stood on that global stage making this historical win,” said Monga.

Suggested Reading: “Two Women Did This”: Producer Guneet Monga On Oscar Win For The Elephant Whisperers

Who Is Kartiki Gonsalves?

  • Kartiki Gonsalves is a photojournalist and filmmaker based in Mumbai. Her work focuses on wildlife, the environment and nature.
  • She was one of the first women selected in India as a Sony Imaging Ambassador for the Sony Alpha series as a natural history and social documentary photographer and filmmaker.
  • The Elephant Whisperers is Gonsalves’ directorial debut.
  • Gonsalves thanked the Academy, producer of The Elephant Whisperers Guneet Monga, her family and friends before she dedicated the win to “motherland India”.
  • The director started off her speech by saying, “I stand here today to speak for the sacred bond between us and our natural world, for the respect of indigenous communities, and empathy towards other living beings… and finally, for coexistence.”
  • Gonsalves thanked the Academy for recognising the documentary short film and highlighting indigenous people and animals.