All That Breathes wins APSA award

The film All That Breathes has won Best Documentary Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) 2022.

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The film All That Breathes has won Best Documentary Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) 2022.

One of two films at the 15th APSA with Indian links, the film was officially announced as the winner of the award on 11 November at a gala ceremony on the Gold Coast.

Following the story of Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammed Saud, the documentary explores the tale of two brothers living in Delhi dedicated to caring for wounded Black Kite birds amidst the air pollution and mounting violence darkening the cityscape.

Sen’s cinematic snapshot of their turbulent environmental mission expertly exposes the political absurdities and surreal nature of contemporary India.

Directed and produced by Delhi-based filmmaker Shaunak Sen, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2022 in January where it was awarded the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Delhi-based director Shaunak Sen capturing a city's relationship with nature
Delhi-based director Shaunak Sen (Source: APSA)

Since then, the documentary has received multiple awards and nominations at other global film festivals over the past year. These recognitions include the prestigious L’Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye) award for Best Documentary at the 75th Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

The Cannes jury described the 90-minute documentary then as “an inspirational journey in observation of three Don Quixotes, who may not save the whole world but do save their world.”

Sen took to Instagram to acknowledge the many accolades the film has garnered since its release.


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A post shared by Shaunak Sen (@shaunak_sen)

All That Breathes beat four other documentaries nominated in the category. Indian film producer Guneet Monga was part of the APSA International Jury chosen to review the featured films.

The film is Sen’s second project after his 2016 documentary Cities Of Sleep, about homeless people searching for a place to sleep in Delhi.

India’s other home-grown film featured at APSA 2022 was Jaggi, directed by Anmol Sidhu and nominated in the Best Youth Film category.

Amongst the winning films from South Asia, a Pakistani film had already been announced as an award recipient prior to the official ceremony last Friday.

Film-maker Saim Sadiq’s debut feature Joyland (Pakistan) was the 2022 APSA recipient for the Young Cinema Award, an award presented in in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS), which recognises the abundant emerging talent of the Asia Pacific.

Since the APSA was first hosted in 2007, Indian films have been strong contenders each year with several wins in various categories.

APSA 2022 Best Documentary Film winner All That Breathe
APSA 2022 Best Documentary Film winner follows India’s everchanging environment (Source: APSA)

Prior to the win for All That Breathes, India’s last APSA win was in 2019 with Manoj Bajpayee taking home the award for Best Performance by an Actor for his role in Bhonsle.

Consequently, India created a record of its own with the award for Best Performance by an Actor given to Indian actors the previous 3 years. These awards were received by Nawazuddin Siddiqui for Manto in 2018, Rajkumar Rao for Newton in 2017 and Bajpayee’s first award for Aligarh in 2016.

Other notable recognitions for Indian filmmaking at the APSA include Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and The Lunchbox (2013) both receiving the Jury Grand Prize in their respective years.

READ ALSO: All the Indian links at APSA 2022

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