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Anything That Breathes Wins APSA Award

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The film anything that breathes won Best Documentary Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) 2022.

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

Following the story of Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammed Saud, the documentary explores the story of two brothers living in Delhi who are dedicated to caring for injured Black Kite birds amidst air pollution and increasing violence that darkens the urban landscape.

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 2022 Sundance Film Festival in January where it received the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Shaunak Sen, director based in Delhi (Source: APSA)

Since then, the documentary has received several awards and nominations at other global film festivals over the past year. These accolades 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 then described the 90-minute documentary as “an inspiring journey in the observation of three Don Quixote, who may not save the whole world but save their world”.

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

anything that breathes beat out four other nominated documentaries in the category. Indian film producer Guneet Monga was part of the APSA international jury chosen to review the submitted films.

The film is Sen’s second project after his 2016 documentary. sleep citiesabout homeless people looking for a place to sleep in Delhi.

The other Indian film presented at APSA 2022 was Jaggidirected by Anmol Sidhu and nominated in the Best Youth Film category.

Among the award-winning films from South Asia, a Pakistani film had already been announced as the winner before the official ceremony last Friday.

The first feature film by filmmaker Saim Sadiq joyland (Pakistan) was the 2022 APSA recipient of the Young Cinema Award, an award presented in partnership with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) and Griffith Film School (GFS), which recognizes the abundance of emerging talent in the Asia Pacific .

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

2022 APSA Best Documentary Film Winner All That Breathe
The 2022 APSA Best Documentary Film winner follows India’s ever-changing environment (Source: APSA)

Before the victory of anything that breathesIndia’s last APSA win was in 2019 with Manoj Bajpayee winning Best Performance by an Actor for his role in Bhonsle.

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

Other notable recognitions for Indian cinema at APSA include Wasseypur Gangs (2012) and the lunch box (2013) both receiving the Grand Jury Prize in their respective years.

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