HBO Documentary Films has bought the worldwide television rights for the Cannes Special Screenings title “All That Breathes” from Indian director Shaunak Sen, reports ‘Variety’.
The film is the only Sundance movie to be screened as part of the Cannes’ Official Selection this year — a feat all the more impressive given that Cannes is not known for its documentary programming, notes ‘Variety’.
“All That Breathes” follows two brothers who run a bird hospital dedicated to rescuing injured black kites, which are a staple in the skies of Delhi. At Sundance, the film picked up the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.
The “kite brothers” care for thousands of these creatures, which fall daily from Delhi’s smog-choked skies. As environmental toxicity and civil unrest escalate, the relationship between the family and the neglected kites forms a poetic chronicle of the city’s collapsing ecology and deepening social fault lines, according to ‘Variety’.
“The astonishing story of Saud and Nadeem, and their relationship with the majestic raptor called the ‘black kite’, took us three years to shape,” Sen said. “Over time, the story became symptomatic of both Delhi’s ecological and social malaise, while also giving glimpses of a rare resilience.”
“All That Breathes” follows the Oscar season success of another strong documentary out of India: “Writing With Fire”. That film also premiered at Sundance in 2021 and, through a grassroots campaign, went on to be nominated for the best documentary feature at the 2022 Oscars.
Sources tell Variety that Sen’s film, which is “lyrical and observational in tone”, is being positioned as a “Honeyland”-style contender for this year’s awards race.