Snowden documentary to premiere at NY festival

By Jake Coyle, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 16, 2014 at 11:21 a.m.


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NEW YORK (AP) — A documentary about Edward Snowden is a late addition to the New York Film Festival.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Tuesday that Laura Poitras' "Citizenfour" will premiere Oct. 10 as part of the annual festival's main slate.

Poitras is a journalist and documentarian whom Snowden first contacted about leaking thousands of documents that revealed the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone and email records. She shared in the Pulitzer Prize for public service given earlier this year to The Washington Post and The Guardian for the NSA revelations.

Poitras was working on a film about national security and privacy in the wake of post-9/11 America when Snowden first contacted her under the name "citizen four" through encrypted emails. When she and reporter Glenn Greenwald met with Snowden, Poitras filmed their interviews.

Kent Jones, New York Film Festival director, said in a statement that the film operates on multiple levels at the same time: a character study of Snowden, a real-life suspense story and a chilling exposé.

In an interview with The Associated Press this year, Poitras said she was editing the film in Berlin because she didn't feel she could protect her source material from being seized by the government inside the U.S.

"Citizenfour" opens in theaters Oct. 24.

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Jake Coyle

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