At the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar for “Best Documentary” went to “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ dramatic portrayal Edward Snowden’s disclosure of massive surveillance by the National Security Agency. Receiving the award were director Poitras, producer Dirk Wilutzky and editor Mathilde Bonnefoy. They were accompanied by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who won a Pulitzer for his reporting on the story, and Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills.
In her acceptance speech, Poitras said:
The disclosures that Edward Snowden reveals don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself,” Poitras said in her acceptance speech. “When the most important decisions being made, affecting all of us, are made in secret, we lose our ability to check the powers that control. Thank you to Edward Snowden, for his courage, and for the many other whistleblowers. I share this with Glenn Greenwald and other journalists who are exposing truth.
After a screening of the film in London on March 2, a panel of journalists with The Guardian discussed details of events surrounding Snowden’s revelations and their publication.
Snowden, who lives in political exile in Russia, commented through the American Civil Liberties Union:
When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant. I’m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me,” Snowden said in the statement provided to the ACLU. “The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honor and recognition it has received. My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.