Politics

Barack and Michelle Obama-produced Netflix documentary 'American Factory' clinches Oscar nod

Key Points
  • A documentary created by former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama's production company scored an Oscar nomination, marking the first nod for an ex-president.
  • Higher Ground Productions, which aims to create projects that lift up "new and diverse voices," signed a multiyear partnership with the Obamas in 2018 to make content for online streaming giant Netflix.
  • "American Factory," the first film from Higher Ground, was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards.
President Barack Obama sits with first lady Michelle Obama to watch musical perfomances during the 94th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Ellipse in PresidentÕs Park on December 1, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

A documentary created by former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama's production company scored an Oscar nomination, marking the first time an ex-president has snagged a nod at the Academy Awards.

Higher Ground Productions, which aims to create projects that lift up "new and diverse voices," signed a multiyear partnership with the Obamas in 2018 to make content for online streaming giant Netflix. "American Factory," the first film from Higher Ground, was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards.

"Glad to see American Factory's Oscar nod for Best Documentary," Obama said Monday through his official Twitter account.

"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!"

In "American Factory," directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar look at an Ohio factory as a case study on globalization, automation and the rapidly shapeshifting world economy. A Chinese billionaire reopens an abandoned General Motors plant, rehiring thousands of U.S. workers but introducing new struggles and setbacks.

Higher Ground is staffed by veterans of the entertainment industry, including former employees of MTV, ESPN and FX Networks.

"American Factory" joined "The Cave," "The Edge of Democracy," "For Sama" and "Honeyland" in its nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

The 2020 Oscar nominees for all categories were announced Monday. Todd Phillips' "Joker" led the pack with 11 nominations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award ceremony will take place Feb. 9 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

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