Shaunak Sen is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker and scholar based in Delhi. His documentary All That Breathes (2023), about two brothers who have made it their life’s work to care for the injured black kites in the city of New Delhi, concentrated on themes of human non-human entanglement and ecological malaise against the backdrop of growing social unrest in Delhi. The documentary was the first ever to have won awards at both Cannes and Sundance, before going on to be nominated for an Academy Award and the BAFTAs. His first feature length documentary, Cities of Sleep (2016), engaged with the politics of sleep and horizontality amidst an itinerant homeless community in Delhi. It was shown at various major international film festivals. Shaunak has completed an MPhil and PhD in Cinema and Media Studies from the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and an MA in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. His academic career has included a Sarai-CSDS grant, and the Charles Wallace grant as visiting scholar at Cambridge University. As a practitioner he has received grants from Sundance, Tribeca, IDFA - Amsterdam and the Pro Helvetia residency amongst others. Shaunak has been a jury member at the Sundance Film Festival, Zurich Film Festival, BAFTA-Breakthrough and the Kerala Film Festival.
During his stay at the MPI for History of Science, Shaunak will research the techniques and traditions of non-secular environmental enchantment in South Asia for a forthcoming project.