'All That Breathes': After Cannes screening, HBO acquires Indian documentary
It's a proud moment for Delhi-based filmmaker Shaunak Sen. His critically acclaimed documentary, All That Breathes' (2022) rights have been acquired by HBO Documentary Films. The hugely successful documentary bagged the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Moreover, it has also been chosen in the Special Screening segment at the ongoing 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
- Sen's second directorial, All That Breathes, zoomed in on the all-pervasive problem of Delhi's air pollution.
- It follows brothers Mohammad Saud and Nadeem Shehzad, who work tirelessly to save injured birds in the backdrop of this apocalyptic scenario.
- Sen has always been lauded for weaving social themes in his work, an example being his debut Cities of Sleep (2016), which underlined homelessness in Delhi.
After its premiere at Cannes, All That Breathes will be released in the US later this year. This will be facilitated by Submarine Deluxe and Slideshow. As per Variety, the documentary will hit HBO and HBO Max in 2023. Dan Braun, co-president of Submarine Deluxe, has labeled the documentary as "humorous, heartbreaking, and one of the greatest discoveries of the year."
Sen sounded ecstatic that his film has found a new home. "Most of us [the crew] have grown up associating the unmistakable white noise of the HBO logo with high-quality cinematic programming," said the Jamia Millia Islamia alum. He also added that the team is thrilled at the prospect of taking a step ahead and delivering the story to a larger, global audience.
In the documentary, the siblings are shown working out of Delhi's Wazirabad, running an NGO called Wildlife Rescue, which treats injured creatures like white storks and barbettes. They had established the rescue group after realizing the precarious situation, the lack of resources, and the stigma associated with the birds of prey. As per the NGO's website, they tend to over 2,500 injured birds annually.