HBO Documentary Films has acquired worldwide television rights to the documentary feature “All That Breathes,” the company announced Friday. Directed by Shaunak Sen (“Cities of Sleep”), the film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and was selected as the Grand Jury Prize winner in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. It is the only film from Sundance screening as an Official Selection at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Submarine Deluxe and Sideshow will release the film in arthouse theaters nationwide this fall, along with a “robust festival rollout” ahead of its debut on HBO and HBO Max in 2023. Submarine negotiated with HBO Documentary Films on behalf of the filmmakers.
The film tells the story of two brothers who run a bird hospital dedicated to rescuing injured black kites, a staple in the skies of New Delhi, India. In one of the world’s most populated cities, where cows, rats, monkeys, frogs, and hogs jostle cheek-by-jowl with people, the “kite brothers” care for thousands of these mesmerizing creatures that drop daily from New Delhi’s smog-choked skies. As environmental toxicity and civil unrest escalate, the relationship between this family and the neglected kites forms a poetic chronicle of the city’s collapsing ecology and deepening social fault lines.
“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 in a statement. “Over time, the story became symptomatic of both Delhi’s ecological and social malaise, while also giving glimpses of a rare resilience. Most of us in the crew in India have grown up associating the unmistakable white noise of the HBO logo with high quality cinematic programming. We’re thrilled to join their roster and to work with Sideshow and Submarine Deluxe to bring this story to a global audience.”
“’All That Breathes’ is one of the great discoveries of the year,” Submarine Deluxe’s Dan Braun said in a statement. “Filled with humorous and heartbreaking moments in equal measure, ‘All That Breathes’ is a stunning achievement and announces Shaunak Sen as a major voice in cinema today. We are proud to partner with HBO Documentary Films to bring the film to the public.”