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Laura Poitras' Documentary 'CitizenFour' Nominated for Oscar

Film detailing story leaks and motivations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seen as frontrunner for prestigious award

'Citizenfour' explores the decision, and its subsequent impact, of Edward Snowden to leak classified documents about the National Security Agency's surveillance of U.S. citizens and people around the world. (Photo: The Oscars)

The documentary film directed by Laura Poitras, Citizenfour, which chronicles the impacts of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's decision to entrust journalists with some of the U.S. spy agency's most deeply-held secrets has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Not her first nomination, Poitras was previously recognized for her 2006 film, My Country, My Country, about life in Iraq under U.S. occupation.

Announced Thursday morning from Hollywood, the Oscar nomination—which also named Poitras' co-producers Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky—was greeted enthusiastically by fellow journalists  and filmmakers as well as supporters from across the world.

"Congrats to my brilliant colleague Laura Poitras!!!! CITIZENFOUR nominated for Best Documentary Oscar!" exclaimed Glenn Greenwald, who is both featured in the film and counts as the journalist who has worked most closely with Poitras on the Snowden story since it exploded in the summer of 2013.

And fellow progressive filmmakers behind last's year nominated film, Dirty Wars, tweeted:

And others:


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Along with CitizenFour, the other nominees for Best Documentary Feature include: 'Finding Vivian Maier' by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel; 'Last Days in Vietnam' by Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester; 'The Salt of the Earth' by Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribiero Salgado, and David Rosier; and 'Virunga' by Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara.

However, as the Guardian film critic Ben Beaumont-Thomas speculates, "With its incredible access and agenda-setting subject, Citizenfour could well consider itself the favourite in the category."

In this staged Q&A at the New York Film Festival in October, Poitras discussed the film in detail:

Watch the 'Citizenfour' trailer:

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