Netflix Announces Premiere Date for Obamas’ First Documentary, ‘American Factory’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in the unveiling of their official portraits during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The portraits were commissioned by the Gallery, for Kehinde Wiley to …
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Netflix has announced the premiere of the first film sponsored by Barack and Michelle Obama’s new film company, Higher Ground Productions.

The streaming service announced that the documentary, American Factory, will premiere on August 21 in 190 countries and in some few theaters in the U.S., according to IndieWire.

The film features a contrasting look at American and Chinese factory workers who meet at a Chines auto-glass factory in Ohio to talk about their lives.

The film was acquired at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won an award for Documentary Directing and is expected to be in the hunt for an Oscar next year.

The Participant Media production was noticed by the Obamas who brought the film into their newly minted film production company, Higher Ground Productions.

Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, producers of American Factory, celebrated their teaming with the Obamas.

“We are honored and thrilled that Netflix and Higher Ground are teaming up to bring ‘American Factory’ to the world,” the pair said in a statement. “Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious. We’re excited about the national and global conversations we believe this film can spark.”

The two have a history of left-wing projects. They won an Emmy for a documentary attacking the auto industry, and Reichert was awarded two Oscar nominations, one for a movie lauding labor unions and another that lionized the lives of communists in America.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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