Barack and Michelle Obama React to Their Netflix Documentary Becoming a 2020 Oscar Nominee

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Michelle Obama, Barack Obama
Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

From the White House to the Academy Awards.

Barack and Michelle Obama officially entered the 2020 Oscars mix with the documentary American Factory, which made headlines last summer when it was announced as the first film presented by the Obamas' production company, Higher Ground. On Monday, the Netflix original was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards.

"Glad to see American Factory’s Oscar nod for Best Documentary," Barack Obama wrote on Twitter. "It’s the kind of story we don’t see often enough and it’s exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve with Higher Ground. Congrats to the incredible filmmakers and entire team!"

In a separate tweet, Michelle Obama wrote that she's "so thrilled that Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, and all of the incredible people behind #AmericanFactory are nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar! We’re so proud of them and amazed by their talent for storytelling."
 

American Factory, from directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, goes inside an abandoned General Motors plant that was transformed into an auto-glass factory by a Chinese billionaire, bringing a mix of hope and culture clashes to a blue-color Ohio town.

"Trusting someone to tell your story is no small thing. We were trusted by great people who work at a factory in our strong and scrappy hometown, Dayton, Ohio, and by Fuyao’s maverick Chairman, Cao DeWang, to tell the story of American Factory," Reichert and Bognar said in a statement to ET.

"We are profoundly grateful that this movie has resonated with the Academy.  We, and our small but mighty team, are over the moon at today’s news. We’re deeply grateful to the amazing people at Participant Media, Higher Ground Productions and Netflix for elevating the stories of working class people. The fate of working people around the globe is under great pressure and duress, and we hope American Factory can give voice to their journey."

Upon its debut on Netflix, the former U.S. president wrote on Twitter that "a good story gives you the chance to better understand someone else's life. It can help you find common ground. And it's why Michelle and I were drawn to Higher Ground's first film, American Factory."

In a conversation with the directors, Michelle revealed that the factory workers captured on camera reminded her of "my background."

"That was my father, and that was reflected in this film," she said.

Since its release, American Factory has earned a number of accolades, including Best Documentary prizes from the Gotham Awards and Los Angeles Film Critics Associati'on Awards and nominations at the BAFTA Awards and Independent Spirit Awards.

This year's Oscar winners will be announced live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, Feb. 9 starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on ABC.

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