Laura Poitras’s “Citizenfour” to open DOK Leipzig 2014

Director Laura Poitras's documentary about whistle-blower Edward Snowden (pictured) will kick off DOK Leipzig next month, before opening in German theaters on November 6.
September 22, 2014

Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’ documentary about whistle-blower Edward Snowden (pictured), will open the 57th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film in Germany next month.

The much-anticipated film, which will world premiere at the New York Film Festival before screening at the BFI London Film Festival, is the final installment in a trilogy of documentary films, following 2006′s Oscar-nominated My Country, My Country and 2010′s Sundance winner The Oath.

The film will screen on October 27 and play in DOK Lepizig’s International Competition Documentary Film section. It will compete for the Golden Dove as well as the Leipziger Ring, an award that honors civic commitment to democracy and human rights in documentary film.

It will then open theatrically in Germany through Piffl Medien on November 6.

“Laura Poitras succeeds in making us feel the totality of modern surveillance almost physically,” festival director Claas Danielsen said in a statement. “At the same time, she gives us the psychological profile of a man who lives civic courage without compromise. Citizenfour is one of those rare documentaries that are not only politically explosive but also deeply impressive works of art.”

In January 2013, Poitras was in the midst of making a film about the U.S. surveillance state in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from a person himself as “citizen four,” who turned out to be Snowden. He shared with her a massive cache files related to covert surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies.

Earlier this year, Poitras’ reporting on the Snowden revelations won her a Pulitzer Prize.

Citizenfour was produced by Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky for Praxis Films, Berlin.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor-in-chief and content director for Realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to Realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.