‘American Factory’ on the road to Oscar gold

“American Factory” also tops Washington Post critic’s best movie of the year list.

Credit: Theo Wargo

Credit: Theo Wargo

UPDATED (Jan. 13, 2020) — Yellow Springs residents Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert’s “American Factory” has been nominated for the Academy Awards in the documentary feature category. >> Read complete story here

PREVIOUS COVERAGE (Dec. 17, 2019): ‘American Factory’ makes Oscar shortlist

The region’s most acclaimed filmmakers have made the shortlist for one of Hollywood’s biggest prizes.

Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert's "American Factory" has made The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences'  shortlist for films being considered for the 92nd Academy Awards in the documentary feature category.

Other films in the category include “Advocate,” “The Apollo,” “Apollo 11,” “Aquarela,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” “The Cave,” “The Edge of Democracy,” “For Sama,” “The Great Hack,” “Honeyland,” “Knock Down the House,” “Maiden,” “Midnight Family” and “One Child Nation.”

The academy says 159 films were submitted to the category.

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Members of the academy’s documentary branch vote to determine the shortlist of contenders and the list of films that are ultimately nominated for the Oscar award.

Nominees will be announced Monday, Jan. 13, with the Oscars being awarded Sunday, Feb. 9 following voting.

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Wapakoneta native Neil Armstrong was on the Apollo mission and the first person to walk on the Moon.

The Apollo is about New York City's famed Apollo Theater in Harlem.

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“American Factory” follows the creation of the Chinese-owned automotive glass-factory Fuyao Glass America in the same building that had once housed a General Motors assembly operation in Moraine.

Credit: Teesha McClam

Credit: Teesha McClam

Bognar and Julia Reichert, a Yellow Springs couple together more than 30 years, received an Academy Award nomination in the "Best Documentary (short subject)" category for their 2009 HBO film "The Last Truck" about the closing of that very same GM plant in Moraine.

"American Factory" received another feather in its cap this week when Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday named it the best movie of 2019 in her list of favorites.

“Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s documentary about a former GM truck factory that becomes a Chinese-owned automotive glass manufacturer could not be more of the moment. It summarizes issues of deindustrialization, wealth inequality, immigration and cultural assimilation in a way that is compassionate, observant and emotionally resonant. Pristine in its production values, unfailingly empathic in its approach, populated by unforgettable characters, “American Factory” might be categorized under “nonfiction,” but no film this year was more dramatically compelling.”

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The academy announced the shortlist of eight other films as well.

They are as follows in alphabetical order: 

"After Maria"
"Fire in Paradise"
"Ghosts of Sugar Land"
"In the Absence"
"Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)"
"Life Overtakes Me"
"The Nightcrawlers"
"St. Louis Superman"
"Stay Close"
"Walk Run Cha-Cha"


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Czech Republic, "The Painted Bird"
Estonia, "Truth and Justice"
France, "Les Misérables"
Hungary, "Those Who Remained"
North Macedonia, "Honeyland"
Poland, "Corpus Christi"
Russia, "Beanpole"
Senegal, "Atlantics"
South Korea, "Parasite"
Spain, "Pain and Glory"

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"Dolemite Is My Name"
"Downton Abbey"
"Little Women"
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
"Once upon a Time…in Hollywood"

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"Avengers: Endgame"
"The Farewell"
"Ford v Ferrari"
"Frozen II"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"The King"
"Little Women"
"Marriage Story"
"Motherless Brooklyn"
"Pain and Glory"
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"

Credit: Rich Fury

Credit: Rich Fury

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"Speechless" from "Aladdin"
"Letter To My Godfather" from "The Black Godfather"
"I'm Standing With You" from "Breakthrough"
"Da Bronx" from "The Bronx USA"
"Into The Unknown" from "Frozen II"
"Stand Up" from "Harriet"
"Catchy Song" from "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part"
"Never Too Late" from "The Lion King"
"Spirit" from "The Lion King"
"Daily Battles" from "Motherless Brooklyn"
"A Glass of Soju" from "Parasite"
"(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from "Rocketman"
"High Above The Water" from "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am"
"I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" from "Toy Story 4"
"Glasgow" from "Wild Rose"

>> The story behind ‘American Factory’ with Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar

Credit: Frazer Harrison

Credit: Frazer Harrison


"Dcera (Daughter)"
"Hair Love"
"He Can't Live without Cosmos"
"Hors Piste"
"Mind My Mind"
"The Physics of Sorrow"
"Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days"

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"The Christmas Gift"
"Little Hands"
"Miller & Son"
"Nefta Football Club"
"The Neighbors' Window"
"A Sister"
"Sometimes, I Think about Dying"


"Alita: Battle Angel"
"Avengers: Endgame"
"Captain Marvel"
"Gemini Man"
"The Irishman"
"The Lion King"
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"
"Terminator: Dark Fate"

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