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HBO acquires worldwide rights for Indian documentary 'All That Breathes'

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HBO acquires worldwide rights for Indian documentary All That Breathes
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The worldwide television rights for the Indian documentary 'All That Breathes' was purchased by HBO Documentary Films. The docu-film is set in Delhi and focuses on the environmental issues the city is facing.

The plot follows two brothers running a bird clinic to treat injured black kites, a commonly found bird in the region. The kite brothers - Saud and Nadeem - care for thousands of these birds as they fall from the smog-choked skies every day.

Delhi has been struggling with hazardous levels of air pollution for a long time and several methods implemented by the government haven't helped the situation. Submarine Deluxe's Dan Braun said All That Breathes is one of the great discoveries of the year and is filled with "humorous and heartbreaking moments in equal measure".

Director Shaunak Sen also draws attention to the civil unrest that is hurting the capital city. He said the story took three years to shape and eventually it became symptomatic of both Delhi's ecological and social malaise. "It also gives glimpses of the city's rare resilience". A Variety review said All That Breathes has a "lyrical and observational tone".

The documentary will be released nationwide in the US in the second half of 2022 and then head to HBO Max in 2023.

Shaunak Sen is an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He told The Hindu that he is excited to have the film join the HBO roster. Sen added that most of his crew grew up listening to the white noise that comes with the HBO logo on TV. "We associate it with high-quality cinematic programming".

The 90-minutes docu-movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize. Then, the film became a rare project to be screened at Cannes as well. It was nominated for the best documentary feature at the 2022 Oscars.

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