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Festival Predictions

2014 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Laura Poitras’ Untitled Surveillance Documentary

Traction and the kernel of the idea on this third, and final installment technically began when the filmmaker herself became a “subject” to domestic airport interrogations following the release of the Sundance Institute (Academy Award nommed) My Country, My Country. Currently in the editing stages, it’s been hard not to notice the updates on Laura Poitras’ currently untitled documentary on surveillance, there was the NYTimes piece (coincidentally details that a new site in Utah will be the largest data collection on personal electronic data) which sort of acts as an advanced clip, and then came the spaghetti incident where she was contacted by NSA contractor Edward Snowden to disclose what his eyes only saw: details on the U.S. mass surveillance program. Poitras’ The Oath was a winner for Excellence in Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary at the fest back in ’10 – but unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of the doc and the position she finds herself in, this might be a moment where Poitras has a film at the fest and doesn’t set foot there with Berlin Film Festival (expect a phone tapping/German Chancellor Merkel connection) as a logical second premiere date. This is easily our most anticipated item if our prediction is on target.

Gist: The third part will focus on how the War on Terror increasingly focuses on Americans through surveillance, covert activities and attacks on whistleblowers.

Production Co./Producers: Laura Poitras

Prediction: U.S. Documentary Competition

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

 

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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