Higher Ground Productions, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company in partnership with Netflix, announced the company’s inaugural slate of upcoming projects will include “American Factory,” a documentary about Dayton-area manufacturer Fuyao Glass America.
Netflix acquired the film on behalf of Higher Ground, but the company has not given a release date for the film yet.
The film — made by Yellow Springs filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert and their colleagues — chronicles the creation of the Chinese-owned automotive glass-factory in the same building that had once housed a General Motors assembly operation on West Stroop Road.
President and Mrs. Obama launched Higher Ground last spring to create content that “embodies the core values of celebrating the human spirit through struggles and triumph; facing adversity through resilience, determination, and hope; lifting up new voices and stories to bring about change; and transcending divides to bring us together,” the company said in a release
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” President Obama said in the statement.
“We love this slate because it spans so many different interests and experiences, yet it’s all woven together with stories that are relevant to our daily lives,” Mrs. Obama said.
“President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and the Higher Ground team are building a company focused on storytelling that exemplifies their core values,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix. “The breadth of their initial slate across series, film, documentary and family programming shows their commitment to diverse creators and unique voices that will resonate with our members around the world.”
“American Factory” was acquired by Netflix in association with Higher Ground Productions out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary.
Higher Ground Productions is described as a “storytelling partnership between President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Netflix, which has nearly 150 million paid subscribers.
Fuyao has about 2,300 Moraine workers today.
“American Factory” was financed by Participant Media and is produced by Bognar, Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello. Co-producers are Mijie Li and Yiqian Zhang, with Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann the exec producers.