Laura Poitras

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, Directors 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 premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Her collaboration with Henrik Moltke, PROJECT X, screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Triple Chaser, her video collaboration with Forensic Architecture, was part of the 2019 Whitney Biennial. 

Her reporting on NSA mass surveillance based on Edward 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 were released, revealing that the U.S. government opened a grand jury investigation into Poitras in 2007 following the release of her documentary about the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The heavily redacted FBI documents show that the government subpoenaed Poitras’ private information from multiple companies, and conducted physical surveillance on her.

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, the advisory board of Forensic Architecture, and is a co-founder of The Intercept, Field of Vision, and First Look Media.