Barack and Michelle Obama surprised all of us last year when they announced a multi-year production deal with streaming conglomerate Netflix which would include scripted series, documentaries, feature films and docuseries.
On Tuesday, along with their production company Higher Ground, the former POTUS and FLOTUS laid out the seven projects that will soon be released under their imprint, according to Shadow And Act.
“President and Mrs. Obama launched Higher Ground last spring to create content that embodies the core values of celebrating the human spirit through struggles and triumph; facing adversity through resilience, determination, and hope; lifting up new voices and stories to bring about change; and transcending divides to bring us together. The projects selected are a reflection of these values and a commitment to quality storytelling. Higher Ground expects to make additional project announcements in the coming months,” reads a statement from the company.
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” 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.”
“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,” Michelle 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.”
Among the projects include a feature film adaptation of David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, Bloom, a drama that will explore the challenges presented to women and persons of color during the World War II era, American Factory, a documentary which will explore life in Ohio after a Chinese billionaire opens a factory in the former General Motors plant, an adaptation of the New York Times Obituary series Overlooked, which pays tribute to people whose deaths went unreported by the paper, a series titled The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, based on a book by author Michael Lewis, Crimp Camp, a documentary which will explore life at a camp for disabled teenagers and Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents, a 30 minute series for preschoolers.
“President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and the Higher Ground team are building a company focused on storytelling that exemplifies their core values,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix. “The breadth of their initial slate across series, film, documentary and family programming shows their commitment to diverse creators and unique voices that will resonate with our members around the world.”