Former government-contractor-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden, will be interviewed live via satellite from Moscow by filmmaker Oliver Stone following a screening of Stone’s biography “Snowden” in select theaters across the United States on Wednesday.
The screening comes on the same day his supporters called for President Barack Obama to pardon him. Advocates, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, launched thePardonSnowden.org, to urge for the presidential pardon.
Snowden told the Associated press that he is not directly asking Obama for the pardon, but appreciates the groups supporting him.
“I’m comfortable with the decisions I made, but I don’t think it’s up to me to decide the direction of the future of our society – I believe it’s a participatory, multilateral decision and we should intentionally try to remove the outsized influence of a particular individual and that includes myself and that is why I do not myself for pardon, and never will,” said Snowden.
The “Snowden” screening and following question and answer with Snowden will take place at 7:30 p.m. eastern (6:30 p.m. central and tape-delayed at 7:30 p.m. mountain and pacific).
Stone’s biography features Joseph Gorden-Levitt as Snowden. The film also stars Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans and Nicolas Cage.
“Snowden” is produced by Open Road Films, the same company that produced the award-winning “Spotlight”. It is based on the books “The Snowden Files” by Luke Harding and “Time of the Octopus” by Anatoly Kucherena. The film will be in theaters on Sept. 16.
As a contractor for the National Security Agency, Snowden leaked classified details in 2013 of the U.S. government’s warrantless surveillance program before fleeing to Russia. He faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years.
Speaking from Moscow where he is in exile, Snowden said he performed a public service by giving thousands of classified documents to journalists in 2013.
When asked about Stone’s film, Snowden said, “I think the most important impact of the film will be to reach a new audience on the topic of actually the issues that matter the most, which is again, not my disposition what happens to me. I serve only as a mechanism to provide this information back to the journalists who could return it to the American people. The issues that actually matter are what the laws in the country are today, what they permit, and where the government in many cases has gone beyond even that.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that the president believes Snowden should return to the U.S. to face charges. He said Obama’s position is that Snowden’s leaks harmed national security and put Americans at risk.
Story by CCTV America with information from the Associated Press.