The director, who landed in Tamil Nadu this week, took to her Instagram handle early this morning to share a happy photo of the lead stars of her documentary proudly posing with the Oscar statue. “It’s been a long four months since we’ve been apart and now I feel like I’m home…” she captioned the photo that saw the two putting on their best smiles for the camera.
The photo had fans and fellow Indians going “aww” at Bomman and Belli’s priceless expressions. One even took to the comments to declare it as the “favourite #Oscars picture ever.”
Another asked the director, ” I think now we need a photo of the Oscar with Raghu and Ammu!”
Early this week, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin presented the director a memento, a shawl, a certificate of commendation and a cheque for Rs 1 crore. An official release said that the documentary attracted worldwide attention on the Tamil Nadu government’s Forest Department’s work in protecting elephants.
The documentary depicted the care and love showered by caretakers, Belli and her husband Bomman, in rearing abandoned baby elephants at the government-run Theppakkadu Elephant Camp in the Nilgiris District. The short film was on two elephant calves, Raghu and Ammu.
On March 15, 2023, Stalin felicitated Bomman and Belli and presented them cheques of Rs 1 lakh each, a shield and shawl to honour them.
By winning the Oscar Award, the Tamil documentary created history and became the maiden Indian production to win in the Documentary Short Subject category.