'American Factory,' Obama production company's first project, wins Oscar

“Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind ‘American Factory,’ for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change,” former President Barack Obama tweeted Sunday.
Image: President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama during his farewell address in Chicago on Jan. 10, 2017.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama during his farewell address in Chicago on Jan. 10, 2017.Bilgin Sasmaz / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Gwen Aviles

"American Factory," the first title from Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground, won the Academy Award for best documentary feature Sunday — solidifying the Obamas’ status as budding media moguls.

The film, which premiered on Netflix in August, tells the story of a Chinese billionaire who opens a glass factory in a former General Motors plant in Dayton, Ohio, and examines the relationship between workers and employers in the 21st century globalized economy.

“Congrats to Julia and Steven, the filmmakers behind ‘American Factory,’ for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change,” the former president tweeted Sunday. “Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release.”

Obama has developed a yearslong tradition of listing his favorite books, movies and music, and since leaving the White House, he and his wife have become even more prominent in the publishing and entertainment worlds. Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” was the bestselling book of 2018, selling nearly 3.5 million copies, and last year, Higher Ground Productions landed both Netflix and Spotify deals.