Michelle and Barack Obama
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
When Former President Barack Obama occupied the White House, it wasn’t uncommon to see a myriad of celebrities meeting with the Commander in Chief and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Some even called Washington, D.C., “Hollywood East,” because of the popularity of the Obamas even among superstars.
Now, one year after launching their production company, “Higher Ground Productions,” the Obamas have officially gone Hollywood.
The former president and First Lady have announced seven projects that are scheduled to be developed and released in the years to come.
The projects include “American Factory,” a documentary from this year’s Sundance Film Festival that examines the clash of cultures in Ohio when a Chinese billionaire sets up a new factory in the old General Motors plant and hires some 2,000 blue-collar Americans.
The film was acquired by Higher Ground Productions in partnership with Netflix, where the Obamas have a content deal.
“Crip Camp” is also a documentary acquired by Higher Ground and Netflix, currently in production with support from the Sundance Institute, according to Entertainment Weekly which reported that the film will follow a ramshackle summer camp for disabled teenagers in the early 1970s that helped set in motion the disability rights movement in America.
“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 in a statement from Higher Ground.
“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.”
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.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, other projects include a non-fiction series based on Michael Lewis’ best-selling book “Fifth Risk,”a damning examination of the Trump administration’s impacton America’s key government agencies; “Bloom,” a period drama exploring the upstairs-downstairs worlds of women and people of color in a post-WWII New York; a scripted anthology series called “Overlooked,” based on the New York Times’ obituary column about people whose deaths were not initially reported by the paper; and a feature film adaptation of author David W. Blight’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.”
There is also a preschool series with the title, “Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents.”
That series is described as taking young children and their families on a global adventure to learn where their food comes from.
It’s a project that’s reportedly closely connected with Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative that she spearheaded during her tenure as First Lady to get all Americans more access and education to eating and living healthily.