Barack and Michelle Obama were over the moon to find out that the first film from their production company won an Oscar! They congratulated the ‘American Factory’ directors with so much glee.
Is there anything they can’t do? American Factory, the first project released under Barack and Michelle Obama‘s new production company, Higher Ground Productions, is an Oscar winner. The film, directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, took home the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Oscars on February 9, and the Obamas each extended their congratulations to the filmmakers for the big win. “Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind American Factory, for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change,” the former president tweeted following the Oscar announcement.
“Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release.” The former first lady tweeted, as well, writing, “Congrats to Julia, Steven, and the whole crew on winning Best Documentary for #AmericanFactory, Higher Ground‘s first release! So glad to see their heart and honesty recognized—because the best stories are rarely tidy or perfect. But that’s where the truth so often lies.” American Factory, which was released on Netflix in August 2019, tells the story of what happened when a Chinese billionaire opened a factory at the site of a former General Motors plant in Ohio.
The Obamas met the filmmakers a month before the documentary dropped on the streaming service, and it was a meeting to remember, said Reichert at the time.
” [The Obamas are] wonderful people. It was amazing when we heard that the president and the first lady had seen our film, and wanted to embrace it and wanted to elevate us as filmmakers,” she said. “I mean, they’re very much into artists and writers.”
Bogner told The Hollywood Reporter that there was a reason the Obamas didn’t attend the Oscars despite the nomination. “They’re very mindful that if they go somewhere it becomes a big deal, and they’re great about: The spotlight should not be on them, it should be on the people in the stories,” he said.
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