In July 2010, Manning - then a male soldier known as Bradley - was arrested over the release of a huge collection of more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic documents via WikiLeaks, one of the largest leaks of classified information in U.S. history.
On Wednesday, Manning was released from the prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas owing to a commutation of her sentence by president Barack Obama before he left office.
Manning said she released the documents to WikiLeaks because she felt the USA military was ignoring the trauma that many civilians suffered from as a result of war.
She provided the information to WikiLeaks, an global organisation that publishes such information from anonymous sources.
On the day of Chelsea Manning's release from prison, Pulse Films announced at the Cannes Film Festival that a documentary about the whistleblower and her adjustment into post-incarceration life is in the works.
Now 29, Manning said at the time she hoped to encourage debate about America's wars, but the leaked files stretched far beyond the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, with diplomatic cables embarrassing senior officials on almost every continent.
"When I first wrote to Chelsea at the military prison in Kansas, she could not be filmed, nor could I communicate with her in any way other than through letters", Hawkins said in a statement.
Manning attempted suicide twice in 2016 and went on a hunger strike to denounce disciplinary measures to which she was subjected, including stints in solitary confinement.
A year ago alone, she attempted to commit suicide twice.
Manning is likely to become a transgender advocate, said Chase Strangio, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union who has represented Manning. After his conviction, Bradley stated he would continue his life as Chelsea E. Manning.
Manning will remain on active duty in a special status, the army said on Tuesday.
Manning was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud, for providing WikiLeaks with a huge dump of secret documents, noted The Associated Press. He acknowledges leaking the information but claims he wanted to raise awareness of the impact the USA military actions have on innocent civilians.
She also said she released information that she didn't believe would harm the U.S., but critics said the leaks endangered information sources.