After wooing the jury at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Indian filmmaker Shaunak Sen set foot in the French Riviera, and walked out with the Cannes Film Festival‘s top documentary prize, L’Œil d’or, also known as the Golden Eye.

Sen bagged the award for ‘All That Breathes’, a documentary set in India’s capital, New Delhi. After winning a prize at Sundance in February, the project was acquired by HBO and was played at a special screening during the 75th Cannes Film Festival. 

“The Golden Eye 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 Quixotes who may not save the whole world but do save their world,” said the Golden Eye jury, according to Variety. 

‘All That Breathes’ is a story of two brothers, Nadeem and Saud, who embark on a mission to save black kites.

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Who is Shaunak Sen?

Shaunak Sen is a director, video artist and cinema scholar from Delhi, India. A mass communication alumnus of A.J.K MCRC Jamia Milia, Sen is currently pursuing a PhD from Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

He made his debut in 2016 with ‘Cities of Sleep’, a documentary that offers a peek into the world of sleepers who doze their nights away in makeshift beds and shelters. 

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The documentary was screened at several international film festivals including the New York Indian Film Festival, Dok Leipzig, Taiwan International Film Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival and the Seattle South Asian Film Festival.

According to the Factory Arts Centre, Sen was the co-curator of live-event installations in 2014 in the cities of Berlin and Delhi. The following year, he attended Toronto’s Luminatos Film Festival. 

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In 2016, Sen was felicitated with Switzerland’s Pro Helvetia residency. He was the recipient of several fellowships including Sarai’s Digital and Social Media Fellowship, and the Films Division of India Documentary Film Fellowship.

Sen is also an academic author who has his work published in journals like Widescreen and Bioscope.