Dayton-based Documentary Wins Oscar

Cover photo of an Oscar from Wikimedia Commons

Sean Newhouse 
Online Editor-in-Chief

Dayton-area filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar won an Oscar Sunday night in Best Documentary Feature for their film “American Factory,” which follows the creation of a Chinese-owned auto glass factory in a former General Motors plant that’s a short 11-minute drive from the University of Dayton’s campus.

Flyer News reviewed the documentary in September.

The duo also was nominated for an Oscar in 2009 for their short subject documentary about the closure of the same GM plant.

Reichert is battling cancer, according to

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

The University of Dayton highlighted the shout-out on Twitter.

UD alum and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley also expressed excitement about the Oscar win.

Former president Barack Obama congratulated the Daytonians on their win. His and former first lady Michelle Obama’s production company produced the documentary.

It looked like Dayton denizens were excited too.

Wright State’s student newspaper congratulated Reichert and Bognar, who are former faculty members.

Barstool Flyers also featured the Dayton shout-out.

Dayton was featured at last year’s Oscars too. Wright State grad Hannah Beachler won for Best Production Design for “Black Panther.” She was the first African-American to win in that category.

You can watch “American Factory” on Netflix.

Reporter’s note: I published my picks on Sunday for who I thought would win at the Academy Awards. While I incorrectly thought “Honeyland” would win over “American Factory,” I correctly predicted that “Parasite” would win Best Picture, becoming the first film not in the English language to win the ceremony’s highest award.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said Reichert and Bognar won an Oscar in 2009. That was incorrect; the documentarians were nominated that year.

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