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‘CITIZENFOUR’ Wins Best Feature Award from International Documentary Association

‘CITIZENFOUR’ Wins Best Feature Award from International Documentary Association

Variety  – December 5, 2014

By Dave McNary

Laura Poitras’ Edward Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” has won the International Documentary Association’s award for best feature. Poitras received the award Friday night in ceremonies at the Paramount lot.
“What he did was probably the most extraordinary act I’ve ever seen so we could know more as citizens,” Poitras said in her acceptance.

Poitras met Snowden while working on a documentary about governmental surveillance in the post-9/11 era. She began receiving emails from “citizenfour,” who wrote, “I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you was extremely high-risk.”

Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald journeyed to Hong Kong to meet with the person she had been corresponding with, who turned out to be Snowden. Snowden ultimately handed over top-secret documents that revealed covert surveillance programs run by the NSA.

“Citizenfour” won over  “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Point and Shoot,” “The Salt of the Earth” and “Tales of the Grim Sleeper.”

“Citizenfour,” which is on the short list of films for the Oscar, won the Gotham Award this week for best documentary, just hours after winning the New York Film Critics Award.

The best short award went to “Tashi and the Monk,” directed by Johnny Burke and Andrew Hinton. It also won the Pare Lorentz Award, which recognizes films focusing on environmental and social issues. The film explores the relationship of Buddhist monk Lobsang Phuntsok and his 5-year-old charge Tashi Drolma.

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