Savannah Film Fest: Matthew Heineman on His Deeply Personal Marie Colvin Biopic 'A Private War'

Matthew Heineman, the 35-year-old filmmaker best known for his gritty documentaries — especially 2015's Cartel Land, for which he received a best documentary feature Oscar nomination, and 2017's City of Ghosts — sat down with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month at the Savannah Film Festival to discuss his narrative directorial debut A Private War, which was greeted with a standing ovation at the fest and will open in theaters across America on Friday.

A Private War is a gritty docudrama about the late, great war correspondent Marie Colvin, played in the film by Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). The first major release of Aviron Pictures, it had its world premiere at September's Toronto International Film Festival and has since received rave reviews from The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, among other major publications.

Heineman, over the course of our conversation in Savannah, discussed why he feels a deep personal connection to Colvin; why courage is a theme that runs through all of his films; how he and Pike wound up collaborating on A Private War; why the cinematographer Robert Richardson was also a key collaborator on the film; and much more.