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06/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2024 14:07

Higher Ground Extends Creative Partnership with Netflix →

Higher Ground Extends Creative Partnership with Netflix


13 June 2024
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  • On the heels of the announcement that Higher Ground's film Leave the World Behind topped all of Netflix viewing in the second half of 2023 and that Bodkin, the Will Forte crime drama series, debuted on Netflix's Top 10 weekly global list, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's media company, Higher Ground, has extended its creative partnership with Netflix. Under the terms of the agreement, Higher Ground will have a multi-year, first look deal with Netflix for all its film and television projects.

  • Vinnie Malhotra, President of Higher Ground, said: "From the beginning, Netflix has championed our projects, helping them flourish and reach millions across the world. We're thrilled to build on our stellar creative partnership and to deliver more ambitious films and series. From gripping thrillers to heartfelt comedies and profound documentaries, we have so much that we look forward to sharing."

  • Bela Bajaria, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, said:"If there's one thing that's defined President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's creative ambitions since we started our partnership with Higher Ground, it is their pursuit of an exceptional story that brings the human experience to light. We are delighted to continue our relationship with Higher Ground as they continue to develop and produce more ambitious, compelling and entertaining stories."

  • Higher Ground's recent projects with Netflix include Rustin, American Symphony, Leave the World Behind, Working: What We Do All Day, and Bodkin. Rustin, a feature film that tells the story of civil rights and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin, earned Academy Award, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Colman Domingo's performance in the titular role. American Symphony was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a BAFTA Award for Best Documentary. Higher Ground's apocalyptic thriller directed by Sam Esmail, Leave the World Behind, climbed to the fifth spot on Netflix's Most Popular Films List of all time, clocking 121 million views in just over three weeks after its premiere. Despite debuting late in the year, the film topped all Netflix viewingin the second half of 2023. Most recently, Higher Ground's Will Forte crime drama series, Bodkin, spent 3 weeks on the Netflix Global Top 10 list.

  • Previous Higher Ground projects with Netflix include Academy Award nominee Crip Camp, the Emmy Award-winning Our Great National Parks, as well as Fatherhood, Becoming, Worth, We the People, Descendant, plus the hit kids and family series Waffles + Mochiand Ada Twist, Scientist. Higher Ground's first film release on Netflix, American Factory, won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program.

  • Higher Ground has an expansive range of projects currently in development or production. Higher Ground has acquired the rights to S.A. Cosby's best-selling crime thriller All the Sinners Bleed,which it is developing with Amblin Entertainment, Hello, Beautiful,a family drama by Ann Napolitano that was an Oprah Winfrey's Book Club pick, and Dyersville, a highly sought-after Chicago-set crime thriller inspired by real life events and penned by Will Hettinger, directed by Grant Singer.

  • Higher Ground is in development on a film adaptation of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by David W. Blight. Regina King is set to direct, with a script by Kemp Powers, reuniting the pair behind One Night in Miami.

  • Michelle Obama is working closely alongside Lupita Nyong'o on a romantic comedy film titled Fling, produced by and starring Nyong'o, based on a novel by J.F. Murray.

  • Higher Ground is in production on an unscripted series about older people finding companionship, The Later Daters, produced alongside a Harvard-trained behavioral scientist, Logan Ury, who will serve as an on-air expert.

  • Higher Ground is also partnering with Words and Pictures, the team behind The Last Dance, and the International Olympic Committee on a documentary series following the Olympic Basketball Tournament in Paris later this year.

About Higher Ground

Higher Ground, founded by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, creates and elevates stories and voices that bend the arc. From scripted and unscripted television, feature films, and animated series to podcasts and digital series, the company tells widely acclaimed stories across all platforms. Higher Ground has an exclusive first look deal for film and television with Netflix and has a first look podcast deal with Audible. For more information on Higher Ground projects, visit

Media Contacts

Sarah Rothman

The Lede Company for Higher Ground

[email protected]