• Fri. Sep 23rd, 2022

shaunak sen: Whatever wins: Delhi filmmaker Shaunak Sen’s big win at Cannes 2022, artists and netizens hail the young director

ByRandall B. Phelps

May 29, 2022
The 2022 Cannes Film Festival ended on a high note for India. Filmmaker Shaunak Sen’s ‘All That Breathes’ won the prestigious – 2022 L’Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye) for Best Documentary at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

Sen’s film “All That Breathes”, which was an audience favorite at the famous festival, chronicles the life of two brothers Nadeem and Saud from Delhi. The brothers, despite deteriorating air quality and stifling social problems in the nation’s capital, are dedicated to rescuing migratory black kites. “All That Breathes”, which was edited in Denmark, began filming in 2019.

The documentary was part of the festival’s special screenings and the award was announced by a jury chaired by Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland. Sen’s film previously won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

The film took nearly three years to conceptualize. According to Sen, over time, the story has become sympathetic and aware of Delhi’s ecological and social milieu. Recently, the documentary was acquired by HBO.

A JNU alumnus

Back to recommendation stories

Delhi-based filmmaker and videographer Shaunak Sen started making documentary films in 2016 with “Cities of Sleep”. His first film won up to six international awards for best documentary. Sen is an alumnus of Jamia Milia Islamia University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

“I’m not interested in doing conventional ‘nature-based’ programming or ‘wildlife’ documentary. My focus is neither limited to the lives of the human protagonists nor the birds. The city itself – filled many human-animals together – feature in the film as a character,” the 34-year-old director said in a director’s note posted on the Cannes Film Festival website.

After his victory at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, filmmakers, film experts and Internet users hailed the young director for his victory.

This is the second time that India has won the Golden Eye for Best Documentary. In 2021, filmmaker Payal Kapadia won the honor for her film “A Night Without Knowing Nothing”.