Essential New Documentary Project

Short Takes — Sep 11, 2015
Laura Poitras

Laura Poitras has proven to be one of the most daring and necessary voices in contemporary documentary cinema with such works as The Oath and the Oscar-winning Citizenfour. So we’re excited to hear that she, along with her fellow documentarian AJ Schnack and former Hot Docs Festival programming director Charlotte Cook, is launching a new nonfiction filmmaking project. Field of Vision, The Intercept’s new visual journalism initiative, will commission up-to-the-minute short-form and episodic documentaries from various filmmakers, the idea being that the work will be shot and edited fast, while its subjects are in the news. The project will debut at the New York Film Festival on September 27 with a series by Poitras about WikiLeaks cofounder Julian Assange.

In an interview the three Field of Vision collaborators gave to Eric Hynes this week, Poitras says: “We are interested in intersections between visual storytelling and news gathering, and how writing and video journalism can work together. When we think of things that inspire us, it’s like Life magazine, which was such a great platform for photography and print, or World In Action, a British series that was responding to events as they were unfolding in very cinematic ways . . . To be on the ground, trying to do things with a quicker turnaround, we can respond to the world around us more quickly, and also the life cycle of the creative process is accelerated.”

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