President Obama and First Lady Michelle have scored their first Oscar nomination

January 2020

The Forever First Family produced ‘American Factory,’ a film showing the impact the closing of General Motors had on the community of Dayton, Ohio

By Cortney Wills theGrio.com


Barack and Michelle Obama’s first film under their Netflix agreement has been nominated for an Oscar in the best documentary feature category.

American Factory, which was released under the former president and first lady’s production company, Higher Ground. The documentary shows the impact on the community of Dayton, Ohio when a General Motors factory shuts down. The film “takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans,” according to a Netflix press release.

“Glad to see American Factory’s Oscar nod for Best Documentary,” Barack Obama tweeted. “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!”

Filmmakers for “American Factory,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year, include Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. Competing in the same category are the following productions: The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama and Honeyland, according to CBS News.

“I couldn’t be happier that Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, and all of the incredible people behind #AmericanFactory have been nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar,” Michelle Obama posted on Instagram, along with a photo of her and the former president with the filmmakers. “What Julia and Steve capture on film is at times painful, at times exhilarating, but always thoughtful and always real.”

In 2018, the Obamas signed a multi-year agreement with Netflix to produce films and series through their Higher Ground production company, which was started “to harness the power of storytelling,” former President Obama said. The Obamas have seven projects in the works that deal with “issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights” and “will educate, connect, and inspire us all,” according to CBS.

The 92nd annual Oscars will air Feb. 9 on ABC.