Naatu Naatu song from movie RRR has become the first Indian film track to win Oscar in the Best Original Song category while The Elephant Whisperers became the maiden Indian production to win in the Documentary Short Subject category.
March has brought surreal moment for India and double Oscar cheer with Naatu Naatu from the movie RRR becoming the first Indian film track to win the Academy award in the Best Original Song category and the documentary The Elephant Whisperers creating history at the 95th Academy Awards by becoming the maiden Indian production to win in the Documentary Short Subject category.
Guneet Monga, Producer of ‘The Elephant Whispers’ observed, “I can say, the future for Indian cinema is audacious, the future is here and not to forget the future is truly female!” “The Elephant Whisperers”, by Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga, which explores the bond between humans and an abandoned elephant calf in a Tamil Nadu sanctuary, is India’s first win in the Documentary Short category. “Smile Pinki” and “Period. End of Sentence”, both set in India, had also won in the same category but they were foreign productions.
Shot in the Theppakadu Elephant Camp inside the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, The Elephant Whisperers follows tribals – Bomman and Bellie as they care for Raghu, an injured baby elephant who gets separated from his herd. When Raghu reaches adolescence, the state’s forest department takes him away and places him with another caretaker. The couple are heartbroken and miss Raghu deeply. In one scene, the baby elephant wipes away Bellie’s tears when she breaks down over Raghu’s separation.
India has never won an Oscar in the International Film category or the Best Foreign Film as it was known earlier. Bhanu Athaiya was the first Indian to win the Oscars after she was conferred the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi”, which bagged eight trophies in 1983. Directing legend Satyajit Ray was conferred an honorary Oscar in 1992.
MM Keeravaani, Naatu Naatu Composer quipped, “There was only one wish on my mind, so was Rajamouli’s and our families’ — RRR has to win…. Pride of every Indian…This is just the beginning.” The win for Naatu Naatu, composed by MM Keeravaani and penned by Chandrabose in SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster film, is the fourth non-English song to win an Oscar in the category. Jai Ho bagged this prize in 2009. To add to the Indian pride, actor Deepika Padukone, introduced Naatu Naatu to the audience.
The win for Naatu Naatu, composed by MM Keeravaani and penned by Chandrabose in SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster film, is the fourth non-English song to win an Oscar in the category. Jai Ho bagged this prize in 2009. “RRR” (Rise Roar Revolt), a pre-independence fictional story, follows two real-life Indian revolutionaries – Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Jr NTR) – in the 1920s. It was released in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam. Rajamouli film, featuring Ram Charan and Jr NTR had this energetic song, composed by M.M. Keeravani and written by lyricist Chandrabose. It beat three other nominations, including ‘This Is A Life’ from ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once,’ ‘Applause’ from ‘Tell It Like a Woman,’ and ‘Raise Me Up’ from ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.