“The Elephant Whisperers,” the Indian film nominated in the Oscars’ documentary short film category, has received an outpouring of love globally with young fans sending their fan art and appreciation in hundreds of emails to the filmmakers.
The film follows a couple, Bomman and Bellie, who devote their lives to caring for an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu.
Director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Monga, along with the film’s team in India and the U.S., have been receiving fan art depicting their love for the orphaned babies and the caring couple from the film. They have also received testimonials from many parents and some fans who sent video clips of their own animal companions watching the film at home.
Monga told Variety: “We always knew the film was special, but to see it have such immense impact, especially on young minds makes this whole experience even more meaningful. To see kids as young as two watch this as their first film, and thousands submitting their fan art to us, has really moved us as a team.”
Gonsalves added: “Seeing these beautiful tributes means to me that the film did what I always hoped – that we are reaching people about the sacred bond between ourselves and the natural world, and a new generation is falling in love with these endangered animals.”
Documentarian Doug Blush, who serves as the film’s co-executive producer and co-editor, said: “I’ve been a part of over two hundred non-fiction films and series – and this is the first one ever to get actual fan art.”
The film also received appreciation from the parent of an autistic boy via an Instagram post.
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