Barack and Michelle Obama’s Production Company Gets 1st Oscar Nomination

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle close the Obama Foundation Summit together on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle close the Obama Foundation Summit together on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The first film to be produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions has scored an Oscar nomination.

On Monday, “American Factory,” a thought-provoking documentary about a culture clash at a Dayton, Ohio manufacturing plant, earned a nomination for best documentary feature.

“Oscar nominations came out today and I’m glad to see ‘American Factory’s’ nod for Best Documentary,” the former president said in an Instagram post. “I like this film for its nuanced, honest portrayal of the way a changing global economy plays out in real lives. It offers a window into people as they actually are and it’s the kind of story we don’t see often enough. This is exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve through Higher Ground.”

The film hails from filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. It was released through Netflix as part of a lucrative deal with the streaming service.

Michelle Obama added in her own post: “What Julia and Steve capture on film is at times painful, at times exhilarating, but always thoughtful and always real — exactly the kind of story Barack and I wanted to lift up with Higher Ground Productions.”

The film will compete in its category against “The Cave,” “The Edge of Democracy,” “For Sama,” and “Honeyland.”

Though female directors were shutout of the feature film category, four of the five feature documentary nominees were either directed or co-directed by women.

Bognar and Reichert said in a joint statement they were “over the moon at today’s news” in a statement.

“The fate of working people around the globe is under great pressure and duress, and we hope ‘American Factory’ can give voice to their journey,” they added.

The Academy Awards will be handed out on February 9.

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