Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground Productions, announced seven projects that are being developed for Netflix Tuesday.
The projects will feature several documentaries with topics ranging from disability, health and race. There will also be a movie about Frederick Douglass. The Obamas originally signed a deal with Netflix to produce their own original content, including scripted and nonscripted films, documentaries, and other types of series in May 2018.
“We created Higher Ground to harness the power of storytelling. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited about these projects,” the former president said in a statement.
“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,” Mr. Obama continued.
Mrs. Obama also shared her thoughts on the importance of these projects in development. The bestselling author and former first lady said that there was a wide array of topics to interest different types of people.
“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,” she said. “We can’t wait to see these projects come to life — and the conversations they’ll generate.”
Below is a synopsis of some of the upcoming stories which will be released over the next few years.
■ “American Factory,” a documentary that examines life in Ohio where a Chinese billionaire opened a factory in a former General Motors plant and hired 2,000 people. Higher Ground Productions described the film, produced by Participant Media and directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, as “early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.” The documentary was already shown at the Sundance Film Festival, and Higher Ground Productions said it would be its first release.
■ “Bloom,” a drama series set in post-World War II New York that will explore the “barriers faced by women and by people of color in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress.” It will be produced by Callie Khouri, who wrote “Thelma & Louise.”
■ A film adaptation of “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by David W. Blight. Higher Ground did not announce a screenwriter or any producers.
An adaptation of a New York Times series, called “Overlooked,” about people whose deaths were previously not reported by the newspaper. The obituaries have been published in a recurring feature in the paper. Higher Ground Productions said it would be a scripted anthology series.
■ A series based on “The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy,” a book by Michael Lewis.
■ “Crip Camp,” a documentary film about the origins of the disability rights movement.
■ “Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents,” a half-hour series for preschoolers that will “take young children and their families around the globe on an adventure that tells us the story of our food.”