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.
First sun dance. Then Cannes. #AllThatBreathes. Anything that wins. So proud of you, Shaunak Sen. https://t.co/rkQmtjAMvN
— Raja Sen (@RajaSen) 1653754501000
Congratulations Shaunak Sen on winning Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival for your beautiful film ‘All that… https://t.co/moxs4y1E2M
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) 1653754492000
An Indian film won the prize for best documentary, L’Œil d’or again this year at Cannes. Congratulations Shaunak S… https://t.co/DtnqOxOi8n
— Ronny Sen (@ronnysen) 1653737222000
Well done @shaunaksen for All That Breathes big win (The Golden Eye, Documentary Award) “The Golden Eye, The Document… https://t.co/e3m2wg9B45
— Tillotama Shome (@TillotamaShome) 1653738535000
After winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year, Shaunak Sen’s “All that Breathes” is the only… https://t.co/Z8IFa1bO3U
— Madhumita • மதுமிதா (@Kaapiislife) 1653376047000
Indian filmmaker’s documentary #ShaunakSen #AllThatBreathes wins best documentary award at #CannesFilmFestival2022 https://t.co/ACwtp11zO1
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) 1653795544000
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”.