The full story first appeared on the Dayton Business Journal website on February 9, 2020. Photography by Dorothy Kleinholt.
By now, most people in the Dayton region are familiar with Fuyao Glass America and its redevelopment of the former General Motors plant. Now the story is receiving national attention with the film, "American Factory," nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature.
But most people don't know the origins of how the film came to be, and what it took for local filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert to put it all together. This is how the connection between former classmates, a coffee meeting and the willingness of a Chinese company to share its story — both good and bad — led to an Oscar-nominated film.
Photo Courtesy Participant Media, Higher Ground Productions, Netflix
Documentarian Steven Bognar '81, Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame '08, has captured some of the most significant cultural and economic changes in the Dayton area through his documentaries, and the film industry has taken notice. On January 25th, Bognar, along with his partner Julia Reichert, won the Directors Guild of America’s Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for their film, American Factory.
Bognar and Reichert have used their craft to highlight the struggles and the injustices that working class citizens face every day, specifically in the greater Dayton area. American Factory follows the creation of the Fuyao Glass America plant in Moraine and weaves together the stories of both the American and Chinese employees and the challenges they face while trying to provide a secure, promising future for their families in a globalized economy.
Though this is the first time Bognar and Reichert have won the prestigious Directors Guild Award, this has not been the only accolade that their latest project has received thus far. American Factory was the debut release from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions’ partnership with Netflix this past fall. Bognar and Reichert will also be headed to the 92nd Annual Academy Awards as nominees in the Best Documentary Feature category.
American Factory is currently available to be streamed on Netflix. Be sure to watch for Bognar at the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9th at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Six Carroll High School Visual Art students earned seven placements in the Scholastic Art Awards competition, including two Gold Key and two Silver Key awards.
Senior Toni Lei's and sophomore Sam Wittmann's Gold Key award-winning pieces of art will go on to another round of judging for the chance to be displayed in New York for the National Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition.
All of these students' pieces will appear in the Regional Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition and be on display at the K12 Gallery from January 31st through February 29th, featuring an award ceremony on Saturday, February 29th from 7:00-9:30 pm.
Gold and Silver Key Winners
Kelley Austria '12
Former Patriot and University of Dayton star Kelley Austria '12 has come back to Carroll, joining the Carroll Women's Basketball Team as an assistant coach for the 2019-20 season.
"I am really excited to be back at Carroll after 7 years," Austria said. "I am looking forward to working with the team this season."
Austria has spent the past two years playing professionally in Greece and Hungary after a standout career for the Dayton Flyers, that includes Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year, All-Defensive Team, Second Team All-Conference, and A-10 All-Tournament Team honors during her redshirt senior year in the 2016-17 season.
During her playing days at Carroll, Austria led the Patriots to the team's first ever appearance in the OHSAA State Championship Game as a junior. She also earned several individual awards including Ohio Division II Player of the Year and two Greater Catholic League Player of the Year awards. Her school records for assists, (career and single season), steals (career and single season), assists-to-turnovers ratio (career and single season), tournament games played, and single season free throw percentage still stand.
The Patriots began the 2019-20 season at Purcell-Marian on November 26.