"AMERICAN FACTORY" TO BE RELEASED GLOBALLY ON NETFLIX AND IN SELECT THEATERS AUGUST 21
· American Factory will be released globally on Netflix August 21, 2019. American Factory is a Netflix Original Documentary Presented by Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media.
· Netflix acquired American Factory from Participant Media out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary.
· This is the first title from the Higher Ground Productions' slate to premiere on the streaming service. President and Mrs. Obama formed Higher Ground to produce powerful stories to entertain, inform and inspire, and to lift up new, diverse voices in the entertainment industry.
· Directors: Academy Award(R) nominees Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
· Producers: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello
· Co-producers: Mijie Li and Yiqian Zhang.
· Executive producers: Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann
· Synopsis: In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.
Quote from filmmakers:
"We are honored and thrilled that Netflix and Higher Ground are teaming up to bring AMERICAN FACTORY to the world. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious. We're excited about the national and global conversations we believe this film can spark," said Director Julia Reichert and Director/Producer Steven Bognar.
Quote from Higher Ground Productions:
"We are drawn to stories that celebrate the human spirit through struggles and triumphs. Julia and Steve have made a remarkable film honoring the importance of dignity and security on the job as the global economy shifts and workers increasingly are caught in the middle," said Higher Ground Productions' Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
STEVEN BOGNAR & JULIA REICHERT (Directors, Producers) are Oscar(R)-nominated documentary filmmakers whose work has screened at Sundance, Telluride, SXSW and other major festivals, as well as on HBO and PBS.
Their film A Lion in the House, a co-production with ITVS, premiered at Sundance, screened on the PBS series "Independent Lens" and won a Primetime Emmy(R). Their film The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant premiered at the 2009 Telluride Film Festival, screened on HBO, and was nominated for an Academy Award(R) for Best Documentary Short in 2010.
Their films have, for the most part, told stories of rank-and-file citizens grappling with questions of agency and how to have a decent life. Reichert's work, in particular, spanning 50 years of filmmaking, has a through-line of concern for working-class and women's stories.
Reichert was also Oscar(R)-nominated for her documentary feature films Union Maids (1977) and Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists (1983). Her first film, Growing Up Female, was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. She is the recipient of the 2018 IDA Career Achievement Award and a 2019 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Bognar's films Personal Belongings, Picture Day and Gravel all premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
About Higher Ground Productions
Higher Ground is a production company formed by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama dedicated to producing powerful stories to entertain, inform and inspire, and to lifting up new, diverse voices in the entertainment industry. Higher Ground Productions has a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce a wide range of scripted, unscripted and documentary-style series, as well as feature-length narrative and documentary films. Higher Ground Audio has a multi-year deal with Spotify to produce a diverse slate of original podcasts.
Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
About Participant Media
Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant Media combines the power of a good story well told with real world impact and awareness around today's most vital issues. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant speaks directly to the rise of today's "conscious consumer," representing the well over 2 billion consumers compelled to make meaningful content a priority focus.
As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake. Participant's more than 100 films, including Wonder, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, CITIZENFOUR, RBG, Food, Inc., and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 73 Academy Award(R)nominations and 18 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant's digital division, SoulPancake, is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of over 9 million fans.