Oscars 2023: How India Nailed It At The 95TH Academy Awards

‘The Elephant Whisperers’ and ‘Naatu Naatu’ from RRR brought home The Oscars this year.

Published On Mar 15, 2023 | Updated On Mar 04, 2024


Indian cinema has been on a roll when it comes to winning awards in 2023, and in a big way, RRR made that possible. This 2022-superhit Telugu movie, directed by SS Rajamouli, did not just win the ‘Best Original Song - Motion Picture’ at the Golden Globe Award in 2023 for the song Naatu Naatu, it also won more than a dozen other international awards - from CCMA (Critic’s Choice Movie Awards) to the NYFCC (New York Films Critics Circle) for ‘Best Director’ awards. And now, the film has won an Oscar at The Academy Awards 2023 for ‘Naatu Naatu’ (yes, again) for ‘Best Original Song’. This made it the first song from an Indian film production, as as well as an Asian film production, to win in this category. 

Music is surely something the Indian entertainment industry is shining in, because not too long ago, Bengaluru-based Ricky Kej, brought home a Grammy (his third) for Divine Tides, in the ‘Best Immersive Audio Album’ category, along with drummer Steward Copeland of the British Rock band, The Police.

The other movie to win at The Oscars 2023 was The Elephant Whisperers, directed by Kartiki Gonsalves - her first outing as a director - in the ‘Best Documentary Short Film’ category. Both the movies are now on OTT. And in case you have not quite seen these two films yet, here’s some dope to pique your interest.

Set during the British rule of India, RRR is a Telugu epic action drama, directed by SS Rajamouli. The film was written by him as well, along with V Vijayendra Prasad. Starring NT Rama Rao Jr, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Alia Bhatt, among others, it is the the most expensive Indian film made to date, taking about Rs 550 crore to make.

The film is about two Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaran Bheem and their fight against the British. The film, which is of course a fictional version of their stories, brings these two freedom fighters on one platform. Packed with super graphics, high action, enough drama to last a lifetime, this film also recorded an earning of Rs 240 crore on its first day. RRR earned a lot of praise, not just for its direction, but performances by NT Rama Rao Jr and Ram Charan, and of course the music that went on a winning rampage.

The film was considered one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review making it only the second non-English film ever to make it to the list. 

This 2022-documentary film by Kartiki Gonsalves gave the director an Oscar to take home as a reward for her directorial debut. The Elephant Whisperers, which is about a relationship between a baby elephant called Raghu and a a couple, is an Indian-American production and was released in November 2022, and won the 'Academy Award For Best Documentary Short Film’ in 2023. It is said that the director, Golsaves, spent five years tracking the human-elephant blended family that was part of the Kattunayakan tribe in order to make the film.

The film was also nominated at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards in November 22 and at the IDA Documentary Awards in December 22. However, The Academy Awards is its first big win.