Kartiki Gonsalves is an Indian filmmaker and photojournalist, who came to the limelight on 13 March 2023 after her directed short film, The Elephant Whisperers, won the Best Documentary Short Film at the 95th Academy Award aka the Oscars.
Kartiki Selena Gonsalves was born on Sunday, 2 November 1986 (age 36 years; as of 2022) in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Her zodiac sign is Scorpio. She completed her schooling at St. Hilda’s School & Junior College in Ooty and St Michael Academy. In 2004, she enrolled at Dr G R Damodaran College Of Science (Autonomous) in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in science in design and visual communications in 2007. She pursued a postgraduate diploma course in photography and filmmaking at Light & Life Academy in Tamil Nadu from 2007 to 2008.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Kartiki Gonsalves was born into a Christian family in Tamil Nadu.
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Timothy Aloysius Gonsalves, is a computer engineer and the director of the Indian Institute of Technology-Mandi (IIT-Mandi).
Kartiki Gonsalves’ childhood photo with her father
Her mother, Priscilla Tapley Gonsalves, holds a PhD in Eastern European History and is of American origin. She has a sister named Danica Gonsalves.
A picture of Kartiki Gonsalves (sitting in the middle) with her mother, father, and sister
Kartiki Gonsalves resides at Windermere, 23 Ethiraj Road, Door 3/142, Plot 9, VGP 1st Main Road, Ooty – 643001, Tamil Nadu, India.
In September 2008, upon completing her formal education, Kartiki Gonsalves began working with IIT Madras Foundation as a design and photography consultant. She worked there till July 2009. She worked with Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd in Bengaluru as a store manager from July 2009 to February 2010. Thereafter, she joined a gym in Bengaluru, where she worked as an assistant. She joined the Zela Luxury Health Clubs in Bengaluru in February 2010 as a design and photography executive/customer service executive. She worked there till November 2010. In August 2011, she joined an advertising company named Black Coffee Advertising in Bengaluru and worked there as an art director and photographer till September 2014. From August 2014 to October 2015, she worked in Bengaluru at Fisheye Creative Solutions as a senior art director. In September 2016, she was appointed as the ambassador of CoalitionWILD. On 31 December 2018, she founded Earth Spectrum in Mumbai and assumed the position of director of operations. She began working as an artisan of imagery at Sony in April 2018. Thereafter, she was appointed by Sony as its Sony Imaging Ambassador for the Sony Alpha camera series. In January 2019, Wildcraft India appointed Karitki Gonsalves as its brand ambassador. In January 2020, she began working with Peak Design as its ambassador. In 2021, she began working with Swarovski Optik, an Austrian company manufacturing different types of optical instruments. Later, she recieved an offer to work as a camerawoman in a wildlife documentary that was filmed in Uttarakhand. In an interview, she talked about the documentary and said that since she never made videos using a camera, she learned the methods of using a videographic camera while working in the film. She has also worked as a camerawoman for shooting The Asiatic Black Bear, an episode from On The Brink series, which was premiered on the National Geographic Channel.
A picture of Kartiki Gonsalves taken while she was shooting for The Asiatic Black Bear
Kartiki Gonsalves made her directorial debut in the 2022 short film The Elephant Whiperers, which won the 2023 Oscars Award under the Best Documentary Short Film category. The film became the first Indian movie made by an Indian filmmaker to win the Oscar Award. The film was premiered on Netflix and was produced by Guneet Monga. While giving a speech after winning the Oscars, she said,
I stand here today to speak on the sacred bond between us and our natural world. For the respect of indigenous communities. For entity towards other living beings, we share our space with. And finally for co-existence. Thank you to the academy for recognizing our film highlighting indigenous people and animals. To Netflix for believing in the power of this film. To Guneet my Producer and my entire team and finally, to my mother father and sister who are up there somewhere, you’re the centre of my universe. To my motherland India.”
In an interview, when asked about the upcoming projects she is working on, Kartiki said that she was working on a film based on the relationship shared between an Orca (killer whale) and its handler.
Awards & Honours
- Kartiki Gonsalves won the Oscar Award for her film The Elephant Whisperer under the Best Documentary Short Film category.
A photo of Kartiki Gonsalves taken with her Oscar Award
- Kartiki Gonsalves is an Associate Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP).
- While giving an interview, Kartiki Gonsalves said that she stopped pursuing a career in wildlife photography and began working as a filmmaker as she did not see any future in it, especially in India. Karitki further said that she left her regular 9-5 job to pursue a career in filmmaking. She, however, started working as a tour guide in Bengaluru to make ends meet. Talking about it, she said,
I ventured into advertising after my post-graduation. I eventually quit to pursue wildlife and social documentary photography, working as a tour guide to support myself financially. But I soon realized that photography in the area I was interested in did not have much scope In India at this time. I realized filmmaking was a tool that I could use to reach out to the world… I believe that strong imagery has the power to change minds.
- Kartiki Gonsalves is a hodophile (one who likes to travel a lot), and she has travelled to many countries.
- Kartiki Gonsalves is an avid animal lover. She has a pet dog named Rusty. She also has a Belgian Malinois named Delani and a cat as well.
A picture of her pet Belgian Malionis and pet cat
- Her favourite cinematographers include Emmanuel Lubezki, Terrence Malick, Louie Psihoyos, Orlando von Einsiedel, Jeff Orlowski, David Attenborough. Gabriela Cowperthwaite, and Ron Fricke.
- Kartiki Gonsalves has written wildlife and culture-related articles for well-known newspapers and magazines such as The Hindu and National Geographic.