Barak and Michelle Obama have officially started their own production company called Higher Ground Productions. After signing a deal with Netflix last year, they are now ready to make their presence known on the streaming service. Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis (both who are veterans in the industry) have been appointed as co-heads of the Obamas’ production venture.
“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 in a statement. “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil right, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect and inspire us all.”
On Tuesday, they revealed 7 new projects that we can expect to see. There’s something inspirational and educational for everyone.
View Their Full List of Film Projects Below:
1) American Factory
Why can’t American and Chinese industries get along? The Sundance Film Festival award-winning film has answers and solutions as they follow a Chinese billionaire who operates a new factory in post-industrial Ohio made up of two thousand blue-collar Americans. The promise of new jobs gives workers a sense of hope, until a culture clash between American and Chinese workers causes tension.
Written and produced by Callie Khouri, creator of the hit TV series Nashville and classic film Thelma and Louise, Bloom is fashion series set in NYC that highlights the plight and triumphs of women and people of color living in a post-WWII world.
3) Fredrick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
One of their first productions is a feature film on Fredrick Douglass, adapted from David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography.
4) Fith Risk
Based on Michael Lewis’ book The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, this series will highlight the heroes working behind the scenes in government who keep our nation safe.
5) Crip Camp
Crip Camp tells the story of “a summer camp for disabled teenagers that would transform young lives, and America forever by helping to set in motion the disability rights movement.” Jim LeBrecht, a former camper and Nicole Newnham, will direct the film.
6) Listen to Your Vegetables and Eat Your Parents
Given the success of other hit Netflix kid shows, Ask the Storybots, PJ Masks, and more, Jeremy Konnerand Erika Thormahlen are developing a show that educates parents and kids about “our food” through adventures around the world. The Obama’s stated that this feature will “take young children and their families around the globe on an adventure that tells us the story of our food.”
Overlooked is a scripted anthology series inspired by the The New York Times’ ongoing obituary column. Hear me out: This series will tell the stories of those whose deaths were not covered in the obituary column but deserve to be shared.
The Obama’s are confident that through each film produced by their team, they will find the common thread within every story to inspire us to be something more. “With Higher Ground Productions, we hope to bring people together around common values and uncommon stories,” stated President Obama. “Our goal isn’t just to make people think—we want to make people feel and reach outside of their comfort zone,” Michelle added.