Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground Productions announce seven new projects heading to Netflix.
The range of programmes features a children's series about food around the world, a series shining a light on remarkable people whose deaths were not reported on and a film adaptation of David W. Blight's novel Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.
The commissions also include documentaries exploring America's disability rights movement, and the story of a Chinese billionaire who faces problems opening a factory in a post-industrial Ohio.
The Obamas launched their production company Higher Ground Productions last year. Barack Obama said: “We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects."
“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," he continued.
Michelle Obama added: “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."
“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.”
Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant), the one-off documentary follows the story of a Chinese billionaire who opens a new factory in an abandoned General Motors plant in a post-industrial Ohio. American Factory explores the early optimism of the project and the obstacles facing the company in a working-class America.
Set in a post-World War II New York City, drama series Bloom explores the issues and progress affecting women and people of colour during this era. The series will be written and executive produced by Callie Khouri (Nashville) and is developed from an idea by Khouri, Clement Virgo (The Wire) and Juliana Maio (City of the Sun).
Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
Feature film Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, adapted from David W. Blight's award-winning novel, follows the journey of Frederick Douglass, a slave who escaped to freedom in 1838 and became a writer and prominent figure in the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York.
Overlooked tells the stories of extraordinary people whose deaths were not reported by the newspaper. Adapted from the New York Times' obituary column of the same name, the scripted series will be produced by 3dot Productions' Liza Chasin and Anonymous Content's Joy Gorman Wettels.
Listen To Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents
The family series Listen To Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents will take young children and their families around the world on a learning adventure about food. The series will be aimed at 2 to 4 year olds and each episode will be half an hour long.
Fifth Risk is a non-fiction series delving into the lives of heroes, whose work guiding America's government and safeguarding is often overlooked. The series is based on Michael Lewis' novel The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy.
Crip Camp is a feature-length documentary exploring the evolution of the disability rights movement. In the early 1970s, a revolution was started in a small summer camp near Woodstock for disabled teenagers that went on to make a significant impact on America and the lives of young people forever. The film is directed by a former camper Jim LeBrecht and documentary filmmaker Nicole Newnham.
All of the commissions are set to become available on Netflix over the next few years.