WYSO

American Factory

Steve Bognar Julia Reichert
Eryn Montgomery

On Sunday night, Yellow Springs filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar won the Oscar for this year’s best feature-length documentary for their film "American Factory."

The film is an inside look at the Chinese-owned Fuyao auto glass factory in Moraine. It explores tough issues, including workers rights, intercultural communications, and the differences between American and Chinese management styles and work ethics.

During their acceptance speech, Bognar congratulated the “tough, inventive, great people of Dayton Ohio.”

In 2008, GM closed its manufacturing plant in Dayton, Ohio, sending the community into a tailspin. Workers who had been unionized at GM struggled to find jobs that paid close to the wages the plant had paid.

"After that GM plant closed, things were so hard for so long," Ohio-based filmmaker Steven Bognar says. "People lost their homes. The jobs you could get were at the Kohl's distribution center or Payless Shoes warehouse distribution center or fast food. People were making $9 an hour."

Steve Bognar Julia Reichert
Eryn Montgomery

The latest documentary from Yellow Springs filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar has been nominated for an Academy Award.

The film American Factory follows the rebirth and transformation of the former General Motors Assembly plant in Moraine into Chinese-owned Fuyao Glass America.

Julia Reichert
WYSO Archives

On Wednesday evening in Columbus, Ohio, a special exhibit opened that features the 50-year career of Yellow Springs filmmaker, Julia Reichert. The Wexner exhibit is actually one stop on a national tour highlighting Reichert's work, which has focused in on a variety of "era-defining" issues of the human experience.

Dawnetta Cantrell from American Factory
American Factory

Academy Award-nominated Yellow Springs filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert’s latest documentary about Fuyao Glass America will soon be available for streaming. The film will be shown on Netflix under a partnership between the streaming video company and former President Barack Obama's and Michelle Obama’s company Higher Ground Productions

Steve Bognar Julia Reichert
Eryn Montgomery

It’s been a big year for Yellow Springs filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. Their latest documentary “American Factory” had an award winning debut recently at the Sundance Film Festival. Now, a deal with streaming giant Netflix is in the works.

“American Factory,” is a follow-up documentary to Reichert’s and Bognar’s Oscar nominated short -subject film “The Last Truck.” That 2009 documentary highlighted the devastating closure of the longstanding GM Assembly Plant in Moraine.