“CITIZENFOUR,” a new documentary from Laura Poitras about Edward Snowden and surveillance, will have its world premiere at the upcoming New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today.
It’s the first time in the film festival’s history that it has added a film to its Main Slate lineup after it’s been announced. The film will be distributed theatrically by Radius, in partnership with HBO Documentary Films and Participant Media. It will open in New York and Los Angeles on October 24.
As part of the festival’s Main Slate, “CITIZENFOUR” will premiere as a Special Presentation on Friday, October 10 at 6pm in Alice Tully Hall. Poitras will also participate in a free HBO Directors Dialogues the following day, October 11, at 4pm at the Walter Reade Theater.
“Seeing ‘CITIZENFOUR’ for the first time is an experience I’ll never forget,” said New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones in a statement. “The film operates on multiple levels at the same time: a character study (of Edward Snowden)… a real-life suspense story… and a chilling exposé. When the lights came up, everyone in the room was alternately stunned, excited, and deeply troubled. A brave documentary, but also a powerful work from a master storyteller.”
“CITIZENFOUR” marks the final film in Poitras’ 9/11 trilogy, which began with “My Country, My Country,” which had its New York premiere at the Film Society’s New Directors/New Films series in 2006 and was nominated for an Academy Award, an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy Award. “The Oath,” the second installment in the trilogy, had its New York premiere at New Directors/New Films in 2010 and went on to win a Gotham Award for Best Documentary.
The synopsis of “CITIZENFOUR,” per the Film Society of Lincoln Center is below:
In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras was several years into the making of a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.