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Former WSU faculty nominated for 2020 Oscars

Bognar and Reichert | Photo from Deadline

The 2020 Oscars will be held on Feb. 9. Among nominations for Best Documentary is “American Factory,” directed by former WSU faculty and alum Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.

Julia Reichert

Julia Reichert taught film production at Wright State for nearly 30 years in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. She has since retired from the university with “professor emeritus” status.

Other films directed by Reichert include “Growing Up Female,” “Union Maids” and “Seeing Red.” According to the Wright State Newsroom, Reichert was the 2018 recipient of the International Documentary Association’s Career Achievement Award.

Steven Bognar

In 1986, Steven Bognar graduated from the motion pictures program at Wright State. He was also a faculty member in the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Picture alongside Reichert.

According to PBS, Bognar’s first film “Personal Belongings” won several awards including the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and Best First Film at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

A team

Reichert and Bognar are married and live near Dayton, Ohio. Along with “American Factory,” the filmmaking duo have produced several documentaries together including: “A Lion in the House,” “The Last Truck” and “Sparkle.”

According to United States Artists, “A Lion in the House” won a Primetime Emmy and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. “The Last Truck” was also nominated for an Academy Award.

“American Factory”

Produced by Michelle and Barack Obama’s production company, this film follows a Chinese billionaire and his company’s achievements and setbacks in Dayton.

This company starts up in an old General Motors factory. According to The New York Times, Reichert and Bognar documented the General Motors factory closing and turned it into their 2009 film “The Last Truck.”

The team revisited this site six years later to film “American Factory.” The film aired on Netflix on Aug. 21, 2019 and won the 2019 Sundance Institute Directing Award.