The award, dedicated to the memory of pioneering documentarian Robert Drew (widely credited as the pioneer of the “cinema verité” filmmaking approach) and his wife Anne, celebrates mid-career documentarists who maintain their traditions, and includes a $5,000 prize.
“My filmmaking is built upon the groundbreaking legacy and artistry of Robert Drew,” said Poitras in a statement. “What he pioneered in the ’60s with films like Primary and Crisis, where he documented real world events unfolding in real time in front of his camera, is the foundation of all of my work. Drew understood that human drama exists in everyday life–from the simplest acts of daily life, to life threatening situations. I am honored to receive this award and to continue the tradition of non-fiction filmmaking that he founded.”
Jill Drew, daughter-in-law of Robert and General Manager of his production company Drew Associates, selected Poitras in partnership with DOC NYC.
“‘CITIZENFOUR’ is cinema vérité at its best,” said Drew. “Poitras’ camera is up close with a compelling character at a significant turning point of great consequence. I know Bob and Anne would applaud this powerful film.”