Laura Poitras is a filmmaker, journalist, and artist. CITIZENFOUR, the third installment of her post-9/11 Trilogy, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, along with awards from the British Film Academy, Independent Spirit Awards, Director’s Guild of America, German Filmpreis, Cinema Eye Honors, Gotham Awards and others. Part one of the trilogy, MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, about the U.S. occupation of Iraq, was nominated for an Academy Award. Part two, THE OATH, focused on Guantanamo and the war on terror, and was nominated for two Emmy awards.
ASTRO NOISE (2016), her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art curated by Jay Sanders, is a series of immersive installations and new work, including: ANARCHIST; O'Say Can You See; Bed Down Location; Disposition Matrix; November 20, 2004; and Last Seen.
Her film RISK premeired at the Cannes Film Festival.
Her reporting on NSA mass surveillance based on Snowden’s disclosures won the George Polk Award for national security journalism, and shared in the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
In 2006, the U.S. government placed her on a secret watchlist and, through 2012, she was detained and interrogated at the U.S. border each time she traveled internationally. In 2015, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. government to obtain her FBI and other government files. Over 1,000 pages have been released.
She has received many honors for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital grant, and a Peabody Award. She has attended the Sundance Institute Documentary Labs as both a Fellow and Creative Advisor. She is on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and is co-creator of the visual journalism project Field of Vision.