Produced by Pulse Films and executive-produced by Laura Poitras, director Tim Travers Hawkins’ feature is an intimate portrait of Manning after her initial release from military prison. The whistleblower and former soldier was convicted by court martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionages Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified or sensitive military and diplomatic documents. The trans activist had her 35-year sentence in an all-male maximum security prison commuted by President Obama in 2017 but was sent back to prison this year for contempt of court.
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Pic was co-financed by the BFI, Field of Vision and Topic Studio and was written by Mark Monroe, Tim Travers Hawkins, Enat Sidi and Andrea Scott. Producers are Julia Nottingham, Isabel Davis, Thomas Benski and Lucas Ochoa.
Executive producers are Laura Poitras, Charlotte Cook, Vinnie Malhotra, Mary Burke, Michael Bloom, Lisa Leingang, Sharon Chang, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Blaine Vess, Marisa Clifford and Ryan Harrington. UK release is planned for May 24 this year.
Director Hawkins said, “I am thrilled that Dogwoof will be our partners in getting this film out into the world. XY Chelsea is a challenging documentary that speaks to many troubling phenomena of our times, yet is also raw, intimate and human-scale. I cannot wait for audiences to engage with it. When I started making the film my only access to Chelsea was through written diaries that she mailed to me, and recorded calls over the heavily-monitored prison line. As we announce the release of the film she is locked up once again, proving both the urgency of her story, and her strength and uncompromising rebelliousness.”
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