Dayton-area filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar have won an Oscar for 'American Factory' documentary.
Yellow Springs residents and filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar won their first Oscar last night for the critically-acclaimed film 'American Factory'. Bognar and Reichert, along with producer Jeff Reichert accepted the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
The documentary follows a Chinese billionaire who buys the former General Motors facility in Moraine and reopens it as Fuyao Glass America.
"Just being in the presence of our sister and brother documentarians, who risk their lives making stories, bringing stories to us about hospitals being bombed, about brazil — we are so proud, we are inspired," Reichert said during her acceptance speech alongside Steven Bognar. Reichert is currently undergoing chemotherapy for terminal cancer.
"Our film is from Ohio and China—go Buckeyes!" Reichert added, "but it really could be from anywhere that people put on a uniform, and punch a clock, trying to make their families have a better life. Working people have it harder and harder these days. We believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite."
"Thank you Academy, thank you to everyone who trusted us to tell your story," Bognar told the Oscar audience, "Junming Wang, thank you to our unstoppable crew, our beloved friends and family, Jeff Liu, our unstoppable editor Lindsay Utz, and to those big-hearted people at Netflix, Participant Media, Higher Ground Productions, and the tough, inventive, great people of Dayton, Ohio!"
Reichert and Bognar took five Dayton-area residents and former and past Fuyao Glass workers along to the Oscars as their guests.
The Netflix documentary marks the first film from Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground.
In response to American Factory‘s win, Obama tweeted "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. Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release.