Edward Snowden Doc to Get U.K. Premiere at London Film Festival

Edward Snowden H

The film by Laura Poitras will world premiere at the New York Film Festival a week earlier

Laura Poitras' documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, will have its U.K. premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October.

The 58th London festival will present the film as a "documentary special presentation" on Friday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, Oct. 18. The screenings will come a week after the film's world premiere at the New York Film Festival.

In 2013, the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize winner was one of two journalists who flew to Hong Kong to meet Snowden, known to her then only as "Citizen Four," to see government documents that he said he possessed. She was then several years into the making of a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America.

"We are committed to building and expanding our documentary selection at BFI London Film Festival and are thrilled to be bringing audiences this bitingly relevant film that speaks to the political consciousness of our times," said festival director Clare Stewart. "Laura Poitras has built a body of work that balances political urgency with striking filmmaking and she demonstrates that again with the hugely significant CITIZENFOUR."

In the U.S., the film will be distributed theatrically by Radius in partnership with HBO Documentary Films and Participant Media. In the U.K., it will be co-distributed by Artificial Eye and the BRITDOC Foundation. It is set to be released in cinemas starting on Oct. 31 as a Film4 co-production.

Executive producers are Steven Soderbergh, David Menschel, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann and Sheila Nevins.

The 58th London Film Festival runs Oct. 8-19. Its lineup includes Cannes favorites such as Winter Sleep, Leviathan and Timbuktu. It will open with The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and close with Brad Pitt's Fury.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai