Meet the Malayali behind ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ that bagged Oscar


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Left: Aswathi with crew members; Right: Aswathi with the Oscar award | Photo: Special Arrangement

Kozhikode: While the country is rejoicing over ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ winning the Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short Film, a house in Kozhikode is also cheering up. The family of N Vasudevan, who has been treating our taste buds with the famous banana chips and halwa of Kozhikode, has a reason to celebrate- Vasudevan’s daughter Aswathi Naduthodi was the post-production supervisor of the documentary.

Currently, she is celebrating her team's win in Hollywood. “The captains of the ship in a film are the director and producer. It is only after Kartiki, Guneet and Achin, and Netflix that I can claim any credit. If they had not discovered the project, this would not have happened to me," she said.

Aswathi left for Mumbai with film in her heart when there were not many women on the technical side of the production. She started her career in the industry as an assistant to director Bijoy Nambiar. “I learned that technology and management was my area and started to focus on those. Currently, I work on production and post-production. I have also worked as a supervising producer on some films,” she said. Her works include Surarai Potru, Minnal Murali, Uyare among others.

Aswathi with the crew members

The production house of Surarai Potru, Sikhya Entertainment, was also behind The Elephant Whisperers. It took three years to complete the project. More than 250 hours of raw footage had to be processed to get the finished product, she said.

Aswathi said she is missing her father the most at this moment. Vasudevan passed away six years ago. Her mother Udayasree and sister Abhirami run the family business in Kozhikode now.

Aswathi, who completed visual communication in Coimbatore, started a post-production consultancy in Mumbai in 2019.

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