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After Snowden, filmmaker Laura Poitras takes on Julian Assange

After Snowden, filmmaker Laura Poitras takes on Julian Assange


Poitras' new documentary unit Field of Vision will examine Assange's time in political asylum in its first series of short films

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Laura Poitras, the award-winning director behind Edward Snowden feature Citizenfour, has launched a new project dedicated to "journalistic filmmaking." The documentary unit, named Field of Vision, will produce 40 to 50 "episodic and individual short-form nonfiction films" across three seasons every year, with 2015's inaugural season set to begin on September 29th. The first series of shorts, made by Poitras herself, will look at the story of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, chronicling his publication of diplomatic cables and his time spent in political asylum in London's Ecuadorian embassy.

"expand the language of visual journalism."

Poitras says the aim of Field of Vision is to "expand the language of visual journalism." Speaking to The Intercept, she said: "How do you communicate about the world through the tools that are available to us, as people who work in a visual medium? How can we understand the world differently through images?" Poitras adds that the films could potentially deal with breaking news, but that she wants them to "have resonance beyond [the news cycle]." She notes that the episodic structure of Field of Vision will help create a unique experience. "I’m a huge fan of House of Cards — you can’t stop watching it. It’s really exciting as a storyteller to work in that form."

Poitras is working with fellow filmmaker AJ Schnack, as well as Charlotte Cook (formerly the director of programming at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto). Films commissioned by Field of Vision will be published at The Intercept and "distributed through a variety of partners, including film festivals, streaming and cable."