It was a good Oscar nomination day for the Obamas as the documentary American Factory earned a was included on the list of nominees alongside The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama and Honeyland. The original Netflix docu was presented by the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media and takes a dive into post-industrial Ohio.
Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, the feature docu tells the story of a Chinese billionaire that opens a new factory amidst an abandoned General Motors, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. In turn, early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.
Barack Obama took to Twitter once the nomination was announced saying, “Glad to see American Factory’s Oscar nod for Best Documentary. It’s the kind of story we don’t see often enough and it’s exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve with Higher Ground. Congrats to the incredible filmmakers and entire team!”
Michelle Obama also tweeted, “So thrilled that Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, and all of the incredible people behind #AmericanFactory are nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar! We’re so proud of them and amazed by their talent for storytelling. See for yourself now on @Netflix.”
Netflix acquired American Factory at last year’s Sundance where it premiered and it won the U.S. Documentary directing award. The film, which debuted on the streaming platform on August 21, is part of a multi-year deal the Obamas inked with Netflix last May to produce films and series that have been said will focus on inspirational stories.
Bognar, Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello produced with Mijie Li and Yiqian Zhang co-producing. Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann are executive producers.