Read the complete write-up of Laura Poitras net worth, biography, age, husband, children, height, family, parents, risk, trilogy, movies, tv shows as well as other information you need to know.
Laura Poitras is an American director and producer of documentary films. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden, while My Country, My Country received a nomination in the same category in 2007. She won the 2013 George Polk Award for national security reporting related to the NSA disclosures. The NSA reporting by Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, and Barton Gellman contributed to the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded jointly to The Guardian and The Washington Post.
Poitras 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. She was awarded the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence by Harvard’s Nieman Foundation in 2014. Laura Poitras was one of the founding editors of the online newspaper, The Intercept. On November 30, 2020, Poitras was fired by First Look Media, the parent company of The Intercept, allegedly in relation to the Reality Winner controversy.
|Net Worth||$5 million|
|Occupation||Director and producer of documentary films|
Laura Poitras was born on February 2, 1964 (age 58 years) in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. 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.
Poitras 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, 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 co-directed produced and shot her documentary, Flag Wars (2003), about gentrification in Columbus, Ohio. It received a Peabody Award, Best Documentary at both the 2003 South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and the Filmmaker Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The film launched the 2003 season of the PBS TV series POV. It was nominated for a 2004 Independent Spirit Award and a 2004 Emmy Award. Poitras’s other early films include O’ Say Can You See… (2003) and Exact Fantasy (1995).
Poitras’s film My Country, My Country (2006), about life for Iraqis under U.S. occupation, was nominated for an Academy Award. The Oath (2010), concerns two Yemeni men caught up in America’s War on Terror, won the Excellence in Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The two films form parts of a trilogy. The last third Citizenfour (2014) details how the War on Terror increasingly focuses on Americans through surveillance, covert activities, and attacks on whistleblowers.
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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 Laura Poitras took an active part in the three-month exposition of the Whitney Biennial exhibition of contemporary American art.
Laura Poitras 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 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”.
Poitras 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 on this issue, a group of film directors began a petition to protest against the government’s actions towards her. In April 2012, Poitras was interviewed about surveillance on Democracy Now! and called elected leaders’ behavior “shameful”.
In January 2014, Laura Poitras filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to learn the reason for being searched, detained, and interrogated on multiple occasions. After receiving no response to her FOIA request, Poitras filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice and other security agencies in July 2015. More than a year later, Poitras received 1,000+ pages of material from the federal government. The documents indicate that Poitras’s repeated detainments were due to U.S. government suspicion that she had prior knowledge of a 2004 ambush on U.S. troops in Iraq, an allegation Poitras denies.
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Laura Poitras helped to produce stories exposing previously secret U.S. intelligence activities, which earned her the 2013 Polk awards and contributed to the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded jointly to The Guardian and The Washington Post. She 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.
Poitras 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, which 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 editorial 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, Laura Poitras was reunited with Snowden in Moscow along with Glenn Greenwald. In September 2021, Yahoo! News reported that in 2017, after the publication of the Vault 7 files by WikiLeaks, “top intelligence officials lobbied the White House” to designate Poitras as an “information broker” to allow for more investigative tools against her, “potentially paving the way” for her prosecution. However, the White House rejected this idea. Poitras told Yahoo! News that such attempts were “bone-chilling and a threat to journalists worldwide.”
Laura Poitras 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. Citizenfour is a documentary about Edward Snowden that premiered on October 10, 2014, at New York Film Festival. In 2014 Poitras told the Associated Press she was editing the film in Berlin because she feared her source material would be seized by the government inside the U.S. Film executive Harvey Weinstein said Citizenfour had changed his opinion about Edward Snowden, describing the documentary as “one of the best movies, period.”
In an interview with The Washington Post about Citizenfour shortly before the film’s release, Poitras said that she considered herself to be the narrator of the film but made a choice not to be seen on camera: “I come from a filmmaking tradition where I’m using the camera—it’s my lens to express the filmmaking I do. In the same way that a writer uses their language, for me it’s the images that tell the story … the camera is my tool for documenting things, so I stay mostly behind it.” Citizenfour won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 2014.
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Poitras is portrayed by actress Melissa Leo in the biographical drama film Snowden (2016), directed by Oliver Stone, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden. Poitras’s solo exhibition, Astro Noise, opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in February 2016, 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 strikingly intimate and direct ways.
Laura Poitras authored a documentary called Risk, on the life of Julian Assange. According to Variety, the film shows Assange is “willing to put everything on the line, risking imprisonment and worse to publish information he believes the public has a right to know”. 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 in question had potentially alternate motivation because she founded Gothenburg’s largest lesbian nightclub.
According to Poitras, Assange disapproved of the film because it included scenes showing his “troubling relationship with women”. In May 2017, WikiLeaks’ four lawyers publicly wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek stating 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. The lawyers also scrutinize the way in which Poitras changed the film after its premiere in 2016 as well as other critical aspects.
Laura Poitras is currently single and not married. She is not dating anyone that is why her boyfriend or husband to be is unknown to the general people. Poitras stands with an appealing height and has a good body weight that suits her personality. She has no children.
Laura Poitras net worth
How much is Laura Poitras worth? Laura Poitras net worth is estimated at around $5 million. Her main source of income is from her career as a director and producer of documentary films. Poitras successful career has earned her some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy cars trips. She is one of the richest and influential director and producer of documentary films in the United States. However, in 2013, Poitras was one of the initial three journalists to meet Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and to receive copies of leaked NSA documents. Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald are the only two people with full archives of Snowden’s leaked NSA documents, according to Glenn Greenwald.