'CitizenFour' Oscar-winner Laura Poitras takes her six-year project about the WikiLeaks founder.
TV's mad grab for high-brow documentary wages on, with Showtime the latest to add to its growing prestige roster.
The network has secured premiere rights to Risk, the latest effort from acclaimed documentarian Laura Poitras. Her last, Edward Snowden starrer CitizenFour, nabbed the 2015 Oscar for best documentary after a brief theatrical run and a wider release on HBO. Like CitizenFour, Risk also focuses on the airing dirty laundry in an era of tech and political tumult — turning the lens on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. A theatrical release, from young distributor NEON, will precede the summer bow on Showtime.
The film, which has been in production for six years, has unprecedented access to Assange and those around him. An early cut of the film premiered during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, but filming continued through the presidential election — one that saw headlines highjacked when Assange's Wikileaks dumped countless emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Showtime has been lapping up documentaries over the last two years. The network has premiered Listen to Me Marlon, Weiner and Zero Days — as well as the upcoming Whitney. "Can I Be Me?." An Oscar nom has thus far eluded the network.
Good news for Showtime (and Poitras) is that the rollout for Risk won't make it a victim of Friday's Motion Picture Academy rule changes that will keep multi-part TV documentaries — like 2017 Academy Award winner O.J. Simpson: Made in America — from being considered in future Oscars. (When Risk premiered at Cannes, it clocked in at just under 90 minutes.)