Published: 30th May 2022
JNU alumnus wins L'Oeil d'Or, the top prize for documentaries, at Cannes Film Festival
"The city itself — replete with the many human-animal ensembles in it — features in the film as a character," said the filmmaker about his award-winning documentary, All That Breathes
India's only entry at Cannes Film Festival 2022, All That Breathes, directed by alumnus of Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Shaunak Sen, won big. L'Oeil d'Or (Godlen Eye), the festival's top prize for documentaries, has gone to Sen for the 90 minute-long film about siblings Mohammad Saud and Nadeem Shehzad who rescue and treat injured birds, especially black kites, from their basement in Delhi.
In a note which was shared on the L'Oeil d'Or website, the jury shared, "L'Oeil d'Or goes to a film that, in a world of destruction, reminds us that every life matters, and every small action matters. You can grab your camera, you can save a bird, you can hunt for some moments of stealing beauty, it matters. It’s an inspirational journey in observation of three Don Quijotes who may not save the whole world but do save their world."
It was back in 2016 that Sen started making documentaries, beginning with Cities of Sleep which is about the homeless hunting for a spot to sleep in Delhi. All That Breathes is his second directorial venture.
All That Breathes has won many accolades including World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. It was recently acquired by HBO.
It was in the year 2019 that JNU alumnus began work on this 90-minute documentary about a duo who, regardless of prevailing air pollution and stifling social issues, continue to dedicate their time and energy to rescue birds.
Congratulations started pouring in for Sen as many took to Twitter to praise the victory.
"Congratulations Shaunak Sen for winning best documentary at Cannes film festival for your beautiful film ‘All that Breathes’ .. congratulations on wining the prestigious L’OEiL D’Or .. #Cannes2022", tweeted acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.
Interestingly, in 2021, Payal Kapadia, an Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) alumnus, had won the L'Oeil d'Or.