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The Obamas have started putting together the executive team to head their Higher Ground Productions label,Variety has learned.
Priya Swaminathan, a former director of development at Annapurna, and Tonia Davis, who previously oversaw development for TV and film productions at Chernin Entertainment, have been appointed as co-heads of the Obamas’ production venture. Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama signed a content development pact with Netflix last year.
Statement - Higher - Grounds - Team - Company
According to a statement, the Higher Grounds team is putting together the company’s slate of projects, after signing a multi-year agreement with Netflix last year, and we can expect to hear more information soon about the initial project line-up.
Swaminathan and Davis will be joined by Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen who serves as a creative executive for the company.
Ground - Productions - People - Values - Stories—and
“With Higher Ground Productions, we hope to bring people together around common values and uncommon stories—and Priya, Tonia and Q are precisely the people to bring that vision to life,” President Obama said. “They’re masterful storytellers. They’re veterans in the industry. And they not only bring their unique perspectives and life experiences to every project, but they’re committed to finding new voices who have their own stories to tell. Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited about the team we’re assembling.”
The appointments represent the first sign the Obamas are serious about building the company and moving forward with production. The initial statement announcing the multi-year deal between Higher Grounds and Netflix left the door open for developing almost all...
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