Laura Poitras Biography
Laura Poitras is an American director and producer of documentary films. She lives in New York City. She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, 2012 MacArthur Fellow, the creator of Field of Vision, and one of the initial supporters of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Laura Poitras Age
She was born on 2, February 1964, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.She is 55 years old as of 2019.
Laura Poitras Husband|Dating|Engaged
Poitras is not married or dating and thus she has kept a low profile on the same as she only focuses on her career.
Laura Poitras Family
She is the middle daughter of Patricia “Pat” and James “Jim” Poitras, who in 2007 donated $20 million to found The Poitras Center for Affective Disorders Research at McGovern Institute for Brain Research, part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her parents keep a home in Massachusetts but live mostly in Orlando, Florida. Her sisters are Christine Poitras, an ESL teacher, and Jennifer Poitras, a disaster response planner, and consultant.
Growing up, Laura planned to become a chef and spent several years as a cook at L’Espalier, a French restaurant located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. However, after finishing Sudbury Valley School, where there were no grades and no division of students by age, she moved to San Francisco and lost interest in becoming a chef.
Instead, she studied at the San Francisco Art Institute with experimental filmmakers Ernie Gehr and Janis Crystal Lipzin.In 1992, Poitras moved to New York to pursue filmmaking. In 1996, she graduated from The New School for Public Engagement with a bachelor’s degree
Laura Poitras Career
Co-directed and shot Flag wars documentary which was about gentrification in Columbus, Ohio. The documentary earned a paedology award, best documentary at both 2003 south by southwest film festivals and Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and the Filmmaker Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The film also launched the 2003 season of the PBS TV series POV. It was nominated for a 2004 Independent Spirit Award and a 2004 Emmy Award.
She wrote a film called my country in the year 2006 which was about life for Iraqi under US occupation. It was nominated for an academy award. Her film the Oath, about two Yemen men, caught up in America war on Terror. The film won the Excellence in Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The two films are parts of a trilogy. The third part Citizenfour from 2014 details how the War on Terror increasingly focuses on Americans through surveillance, covert activities, and attacks on whistleblowers.
On August 22, 2012, in a form of short documentaries produced by independent filmmakers, The New York Times published an “Op-doc” produced by Poitras entitled The Program. It was preliminary work that was to be included in a documentary planned for release as the final part of the trilogy. The documentary was based on interviews with William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency, who became a whistleblower and described the details of the Stellar Wind project that he helped to design.
He stated that the program he worked on had been designed for foreign espionage, but was converted in 2001 to spying on citizens in the United States, prompting concerns by him and others that the actions were illegal and unconstitutional and that led to their disclosures.
The Program implied that a facility being built at Bluffdale, Utah is part of domestic surveillance, intended for storage of massive amounts of data collected from a broad range of communications that could be mined readily for intelligence without warrants.
Poitras reported that on October 29, 2012, the United States Supreme Court would hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that were used to authorize the creation of such facilities and justify such actions.
In 2012 Poitras took an active part in the three-month exposition of Whitney Biennial exhibition of contemporary American art.
Laura Poitras Net Worth
She has an estimated net worth of 2.5 million Euros.
Laura Poitras Government Surveillance
She has been subject to monitoring by the U.S. Government, which she speculates is because of a wire transfer she sent in 2006 to Riyadh al-Adhadh, the Iraqi medical doctor and a Sunni political candidate who was the subject of her 2006 documentary My Country, My Country.
After completing My Country, My Country, Poitras claims, “I’ve been placed on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) watch list” and have been notified by airport security “that my ‘threat rating’ was the highest the Department of Homeland Security assigns”.
She says her work has been hampered by constant harassment by border agents during more than three dozen border crossings into and out of the United States. She has been detained for hours and interrogated and agents have seized her computer, cell phone, and reporters notes and not returned them for weeks.
Once she was threatened with being refused entry back into the United States. In response to a Glenn Greenwald article about this, a group of film directors started a petition to protest the government’s actions against her.
Laura Poitras Global Surveillance Disclosures
She was one of the initial three journalists to meet Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and to receive copies of the leaked NSA documents. Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald are the only two people with full archives of Snowden’s leaked NSA documents, according to Greenwald.
She helped to produce stories previously secret U.S. intelligence activities, which earned her the 2013 Polk award and contributed to the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded jointly to The Guardian and The Washington Post. Poitras later worked with Jacob Appelbaum and writers and editors at Der Spiegel to cover disclosures about mass surveillance, particularly those relating to NSA activity in Germany. She later revealed in her documentary Risk that she had a brief romantic relationship with Appelbaum
She filmed, edited, and produced Channel 4’s alternative to the Royal Christmas Message by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, the “Alternative Christmas Message”, featuring Edward Snowden. In October 2013 Poitras joined with reporters Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill to establish an online investigative journalism publishing venture funded by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, what became First Look Media.
Omidyar’s “concern about press freedoms in the US and around the world” sparked the idea for the new media outlet. The first publication from that group, a digital magazine called The Intercept, launched on February 10, 2014. Poitras stood down from her editor role in September 2016 to focus on Field of Vision, a First Look Media project focused on non-fiction films.
On March 21, 2014, Poitras joined Greenwald and Barton Gellman via Skype on a panel at the Sources and Secrets Conference to discuss the legal and professional threats to journalists covering national security surveillance and whistleblower stories, like that of Edward Snowden.
Poitras was asked if she would hazard an entry into the United States and she responded that she planned to attend an April 11 event, regardless of the legal or professional threats posed by US authorities. Poitras and Greenwald returned to the US to receive their awards unimpeded. In May 2014, Poitras was reunited with Snowden in Moscow along with Greenwald.
Laura Poitras 1971 Documentary
1971 is a documentary film co-produced by Poitras. The film, about the 1971 Media, Pennsylvania raid of FBI offices, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18, 2014
Laura Poitras Astro Noise
On February 2016, the Whitney Museum of American Art opened its first solo museum exhibition, Astro Noise by Poitras, portraying immersive environments that incorporate documentary footage, architectural interventions, primary documents, and narrative structures to invite visitors to interact with the material gathered by Poitras in a strikingly intimate and direct way.
Laura Poitras Risk Documentary
She authored a documentary called Risk, on the life of Julian Assange. Poitras and others described Assange’s statements about women as “troubling”.Assange alleges in the film that he is the victim of a radical feminist conspiracy over his being wanted for questioning on sexual assault allegations by the Swedish authorities.
In the film, he argues that one of the women accusing him of sexual assault was not credible because she founded Gothenburg’s largest lesbian nightclub. According to Poitras, Assange disapproves of the documentary film because of its depiction of his troubling relationship with women.
In May 2017, four human rights lawyers publicly charged that the film serves to undermine WikiLeaks at a time when the Trump administration announced that it intends to prosecute journalists, editors, and associates of WikiLeaks.
Laura Poitras Awards
- 1984: George Polk Award
- 2008: Creative Capital Award in Moving Image
- 2010: True Vision Award, True/False Film Festival, Columbia, MO
- In 2010 Anonymous Was A Woman Award
- 2010: Fellowship and residence at the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH
- 2012: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius Grant”, one of 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2012
- 2013: Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award with three other people
- 2013: George Polk Award for National Security Reporting with Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill
- 2014: Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize with Edward Snowden
- In 2014: Inspiration Award, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sheffield, UK
- 2014: Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to The Washington Post and The Guardian for the NSA.
- 2014: Henri Nannen Award by Gruner + Jahr and Stern
- 2014 Gerald Loeb Award for Large Newspapers for five stories on the NSA
- 2015: Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 2014 for Citizenfour
- In 2015: Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow
- 2015: German Film Award for Best Documentary Film of 2015 for Citizenfour