After months of anticipation, Barack and Michelle Obama, partnering with their production company Higher Ground, finally unveiled the details to their exclusive Netflix projects yesterday that encompass a wide range of fiction and non-fiction productions for all audiences.
There are seven projects that are slated to come out, each going to be released over the next several years.
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” Former President Obama said. “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.”
- American Factory: A feature film that takes place in postindustrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in an abandoned General Motors plant. The film was acquired by the Obamas’ production company after its premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It was directed by the Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning duo Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert.
- Bloom: This project has been described as an “upstairs/downstairs drama” that takes place in the fashion world of a post-WWII New York City. The series will showcase obstacles women and people of color dealt with “in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress.”
- Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom: This project will be a feature-length adaptation of the book of the same name by David W. Blight. Blight won the Pulitzer Prize in History for the book this year.
- Overlooked: This is an adaptation of the New York Times’ obituary column, which tells the “stories of remarkable people whose deaths were not reported by the newspaper.”
- Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents: This show, from creators Jeremy Konner and Erika Thormahlen, will be a series of 30-minute episodes targeted at preschoolers.
- Fifth Risk: A nonfiction series aiming to portray the “unheralded work” done by everyday heroes who are doing the work to guide the government and safeguard the nation.
- Crip Camp: This is a feature-length documentary focusing on a 1970s summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, just down the road from Woodstock, which helped put the disability rights movement in motion.
“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. “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.”
Written by Ryan Nickerson
Photo credit: AP/REX/Shutterstock