Wright State film community reacts to ‘American Factory’ Oscar win

Local News

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – The Miami Valley film community is still celebrating after Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar won the Oscar for best documentary Sunday night. Both filmmakers have deep ties to Wright State University. 

Joe Deer is the Chairman of Wright State’s Department of Theater, Dance, & Motion Pictures. He says that strong relationship is evident not just in Sunday night’s acceptance speeches, but in the way to Miami Valley embraces both Reichert and Bognar. 

He says their success and reputation is showing the next generation of filmmakers what’s possible. Deer says, “They are so deeply embedded in everything to do with the motion pictures program here at Wright State University.” 

The congratulations continued across the Miami Valley for filmmakers Reichert and Bognar. The significance of the historic Oscar win is not lost on Deer, who has come to expect excellence from the pair. 

“This is primarily Ohio students who come here, study, develop really high levels of professional competency, and then go on to national careers.” Reichert was one of the founding members of the motion picture program and taught for 28 years. Bognar was a Wright State student who eventually taught there for 10 years. Now their work is being taught to current students. 

“It’s so inspiring to students and certainly us as faculty members, to see our colleagues and former students going on to have these remarkable careers.” 

Now Deer says many current students can see themselves and their communities in work that’s being recognized around the globe. “This is such an affirmation of what we do so very well. I couldn’t be prouder of my friends and colleagues.” 

Last year Hannah Beachler popped in for a surprise visit with her Oscar award. Joe Deer isn’t sure if Reichert and Bognar will come by with their trophies. He just wants to give them a big hug and say congratulations. 

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