Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Here are the projects the Obamas are working on for Netflix

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Lora Ball | 01 May, 2019, 07:11

The former president and first lady launched Higher Ground Productions a year ago, and they expect to make even more project announcements in the coming months, Netflix said in a press release.

The former president and first lady's production company, Higher Ground Productions, are working on a number nonfiction, educational, drama, documentary and book-adaptations for the streaming giant.

Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, said the content exemplifies the Obamas' core values.

Barack and Michelle Obama have revealed the initial projects their production company will release as part of a new partnership with Netflix.

"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", President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Added Mrs. Obama: "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".

At the time of the announcement, Netflix said their production company would deliver a "diverse mix of content".

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High Ground is also developing The New York Times' obituary column "Overlooked", into a scripted anthology series. The show depicts the barriers faced by women and people of color in that era, and is written and executive-produced by Oscar-winner Callie Khorui (Thelma & Louise).

It's not certain when the first shows will arrive, although two of these productions (American Factory and Crip Camp) are acquisitions that stand a better chance of arriving first.

The Obamas launched Higher Ground Productions previous year, headed up by Priya Swaminathan and Tonia Davis, to create scripted and unscripted content in partnership with Netflix.

A feature film adaptation of author David W. Blight's Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom: The now untitled film brings to life the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography.

"Listen to Your Vegetables and Eat Your Parents", created by Jeremy Konner ("Drunk History") and Erika Thormahlen, will be Higher Ground's family-friend series.

Fifth Risk is based on the Michael Lewis book The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, and will look at the unheralded work of everyday people guiding the American government and safeguarding the nation, according to a release.

This feature-length documentary film in production is supported by the Sundance Institute and was acquired earlier this year by Higher Ground and Netflix. Newnham, LeBrecht and Sara Bolder serve as producers, and Howard Gertler serves as EP.

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