Fuyao documentary wins multiple festival honors

The locally made documentary about Fuyao Glass America, “American Factory,” continues to reap honors even as Netflix continues to negotiate with distributor Participant Media about buying and showing the film, perhaps later this year.

“American Factory” follows Chinese and American workers as auto glass producer Fuyao transforms a closed General Motors plant off West Stroop Road into the world’s largest factory for the making of automotive glass.

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The film climaxes in the United Auto Workers’ failed election to form a bargaining unit at the plant in November 2017.

The work recently won best documentary feature at the Sarasota Film Festival, the Ashland Independent Film Festival and the RiverRun Film Festival.

“American Factory” was directed by Yellow Springs-based independent filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert.

In an email, Bognar said negotiations with Netflix continue. “So we continue to be patient.”

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The work debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in November to wide acclaim.

The Detroit Free Press recently reviewed the documentary, declaring it timely.

“The narrative is suddenly timely again as GM prepares to indefinitely idle five plants in North America this year or early next year, putting thousands out of work,” the Free Press said.

“When Fuyao Glass took over the old GM plant near Dayton in 2014, it was a promise of a fresh start,” the review said. “But that would soon unravel in a cultural collision between the Americans and the Chinese.”

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