What can’t Barack and Michelle Obama do? Ever since parting with the White House, the Obamas have decided to get into the entertainment game. They created their production company Higher Ground in 2019 and appointed Priya Swaminathan, Tonia Davis and Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen as executives. Higher Ground partnered with Netflix to make a series of documentaries. The first and Oscar nominated documentary is titled ‘American Farm’ and documents the impact a new high tech factory has on the working class Ohio natives it surrounds.
According to Bustle,, this isn’t the Obamas’ first academy award nomination. Michelle won a Grammy for her audiobook recording of “Becoming.”
“Oscar nominations came out today and I’m glad to see American Factory’s nod for Best Documentary,” Barack wrote on Instagram at the time. “I like this film for its nuanced, honest portrayal of the way a changing global economy plays out in real lives. It offers a window into people as they actually are and it’s the kind of story we don’t see often enough. ”
He continued in the caption of the picture, “This is exactly what Michelle and I hope to achieve through Higher Ground. Congratulations to the incredible filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, and the entire team!” Michelle echoed the same sentiments and wrote, in part, “What Julia and Steve capture on film is at times painful, at times exhilarating, but always thoughtful and always real — exactly the kind of story Barack and I wanted to lift up with Higher Ground Productions.”
“With Higher Ground Productions, we hope to bring people together around common values and uncommon stories—and Priya, Tonia and Q are precisely the people to bring that vision to life,” said Barack Obama in a TBI interview.
“They’re masterful storytellers. They’re veterans in the industry. And they not only bring their unique perspectives and life experiences to every project, but they’re committed to finding new voices who have their own stories to tell. Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited about the team we’re assembling.”
“Our goal isn’t just to make people think—we want to make people feel and reach outside of their comfort zone,” Michelle Obama added. “With their thoughtfulness, creativity and empathy, we know that Priya, Tonia and Q will find the common thread within every story to inspire us to be something more. I’m thrilled about this team as professionals—and as people. They’re wonderful.”
The real question is, will Barack and Michelle be attending the academy awards tonight? It’s highly likely they will to raise awareness for their company.