The Elephant Whisperers, a captivating documentary that touched hearts worldwide, is now entangled in a legal dispute between the mahout couple Bomman and Bellie, and the filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves. Bomman and Bellie, who played pivotal roles in the Oscar-winning documentary, have issued a legal notice requesting a gesture of goodwill amounting to ₹2 crore from the filmmaker.
The couple, renowned for their integral contribution to the documentary, claims that they were promised substantial compensation for their involvement. They were introduced as the real heroes to influential figures from various walks of life, further boosting the film's reach and recognition. They were assured not only financial support but also a proper house and a versatile multi-purpose vehicle.
Social activist-lawyer Pravin Raj, a longstanding acquaintance of the couple, conveyed their deep disappointment. The couple had placed their trust in Gonsalves, diligently carrying out her instructions, with the hope that their collective efforts would be rewarded. However, their attempts to communicate with the filmmaker have been met with silence.ALSO READ: Kritika Kamra on collab with Karan Johar & Guneet Monga in 'Gyaarah Gyaarah': "It's a huge check off my list"
Advocate Mohammed Mansoor, representing Bomman and Bellie, revealed that they received a response from Sikhya Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Gonsalves' production company, where she allegedly refused further assistance, claiming to have already provided financial support to the couple. Mansoor plans to address this response with a rejoinder after consulting his clients.
Sikhya Entertainment Pvt Ltd defended their stance, emphasizing the documentary's initial purpose of highlighting elephant conservation and the efforts of the forest department and mahouts like Bomman and Bellie. The production company highlighted the positive impact the film had on raising awareness for the cause. They also clarified that claims of refusing compensation were untrue, and expressed respect for all contributors to the project.
The Elephant Whisperers, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves, gained acclaim for its portrayal of the bond between an orphaned elephant named Raghu and his dedicated caretakers, Bomman and Bellie. Backed by Guneet Monga's Sikhya Entertainment, the documentary shed light on the duo's relentless commitment to protecting Raghu from poachers and nurturing him.