The Obamas have a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce TV shows, films, and documentaries

By Sean Neumann
January 13, 2020 11:45 AM

That was fast: The Obamas on Monday received their first Oscar nod for their production company’s debut documentary, American Factory.

The 2020 Academy Award nominations included the Higher Ground’s Netflix film among the pics for Best Documentary.

The Obamas signed a multi-year deal with Netflix back in May 2018 to produce a string of TV series, films and documentaries (both fiction and nonfiction) for the streaming giant.

American Factory is the former first couple’s first produced film. It highlights blue-collar workers in post-industrial Ohio who are employed at a factory that was opened by a Chinese billionaire at a former General Motors plant.

President Obama included American Factory on his “favorite movies of 2019” list last month.

“So thrilled that Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, and all of the incredible people behind #AmericanFactory are nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar!” former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Monday. “We’re so proud of them and amazed by their talent for storytelling.”

Former President Barack Obama added his congratulations as well.

“Glad to see American Factory’s Oscar nod for Best Documentary,” he wrote on Twitter. “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!”

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The Obamas’ Higher Ground production company is also set to release a children’s show for preschoolers called Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents, a narrative film adaptation of the biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom and a new series from Nashville creator Callie Khouri called Bloom.

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“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 in a previous statement. “We think there’s something here for everyone — moms and dads, curious kids, and anyone simply looking for an engaging, uplifting watch at the end of a busy day. We can’t wait to see these projects come to life — and the conversations they’ll generate.”

The Academy Awards will air Feb. 9 on ABC.

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