Julia Reichert

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Julia Reichert

Julia Reichert is a film maker and activist.She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. She graduated from Antioch College in 1970 with a degree in documentary arts. She is professor emeritus in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Motion Pictures at Wright State University. Reichert was honored with the International Documentary Association’s Career Achievement Award in 2018.

Her first film was the noted documentary Growing Up Female, which she created with her longtime collaborator Jim Klein.

In 1971, she helped to found New Days Films, a US film distribution company created to help bolster the Women's Movement. New Day Films avoids traditional distribution to theaters and instead distributes films directly to schools, unions, and community groups.

She received her first Academy Award nomination in 1978 with Klein and Miles Mogulescu for Union Maids. She was also nominated, again with Klein, in 1984 for the Oscar for the best documentary for Seeing Red.

Julia and Steve Bognar worked on the editing and structuring of their documentary, "A Lion in the House", which follows five families each of whom has a child who has been diagnosed with cancer. The filmakers began this documentary in 1997, and continue shooting and editing to this date. They intend and hope the project will air on PBS, whose branch, "The Independent Television Service" has suported the film thus far. While at MacDowell, Julia ans Steve learned they had been awarded a $50,000 grant for the project from the National Endowment for the Arts. Reichert and Bognar both received The MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2004.

The 2006 documentary A Lion in the House, co-directed with Steve Bognar, received multiple award nominations, including the 2006 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Documentary Award and the 2008 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. Riechert won an Emmy for Outstanding Merits in Non-Fiction Movies at the 2007 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Reichert was again nominated for an Academy Award with Steve Bognar in 2010 for Best Short Documentary for the film The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant.

In 2019, Reichert and Bognar premiered their documentary American Factory at the Sundance Film Festival where they won the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary. The film has been picked up by Netflix.

"American Factory"

"American Factory" is a documentary film directed by Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert. The film tells the story of Chinese company Fuyao’s factory in Moraine, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, that occupies Moraine Assembly, a shuttered General Motors plant. It had its festival premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It is distributed by Netflix and is the first film distributed by former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground Productions.

Dayton/Miami Valley Democratic Socialists of America August 14 2019. Here's the trailer for American Factory, the stunning, critically acclaimed Dayton-based documentary by Dayton / Miami Valley DSA member Julia Reichert.


WARNING: This movie preview contains revelations of extreme alienation and is an indictment of neoliberalism and the late stage capitalism that defines the American Empire.


After the film’s screening at Sundance, the film garnered positive reviews with a 94% “fresh” rating at review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Eric Kohn at IndieWire wrote that it's ”A fascinating tragicomedy about the incompatibility of American and Chinese industries.”

In April 2019, the film won the Best Documentary Feature Award at the RiverRun International Film Festival.

Socialist perspective

In many of her films, Julia Reichert focuses on various social issues, like gender and working-class issues, from a socialist perspective. [1]

Ohio connection

Reichert entered Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1964, and she's lived continuously in southwestern Ohio since 1970. She chose to stay at first because of "wanting to be where I was needed," with a sense that there was probably asurplus of radicals on the east and west coasts.

She's since developed far deeper roots in the Midwest, however; she was able to finance her film "Emma and Elvis" entirely through Ohio-based investors. She now spends much of her energy nurturing other Ohio filmmakers, teaching part-time at Wright State University in Dayton.[2]


New American Movement National Interim Committee members in 1975 included;

Frank Ackerman, Cambridge, Mass.; Sally Avery, Durham; N.C.; Edward Bolden, Iowa City; Harry Boyte, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Sandra Kricker and Jim Weinstein, San Franciseo: Roberta Lynch and Judy MacLean,Pittsburgh: Torie Osborn, Mlddlebury, Vt.; Jeff Johnson, Fred Ojile and Shirley Wyatt, Minneapolis: Julia Reichert, Yellow Springs Ohio, Peggy Somers, Berkeley; Melissa Upton, Philadelphia.: and Loren Weinberg, Washington, D.C..[3]


Tony Heriza was a member of the "Media House" in Dayton, Ohio along with Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, Sherry Novick, Eric Johnson, Andy Garrison, Barbara Tuss, Cathy Cartwright and others. All were all members of the Mad River Chapter of the New American Movement.,

New American Movement Speakers Bureau

In the 1980s Julia Reichert and Jim Klein were speakers on the Culture section of the NAM Speakers Bureau on the subject of Political Media and Film-making. Reichert and Klein founded a national feminist film collective and are concerned with and have expertise in the areas of political film-making, political media in general, socialism and feminism, and addiction.[4]

DSA Feminist Commission

In 1985, Julia Reichert of Ohio was listed as a member of the Feminist Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America.[5]


Julia Reichert, Jim Klein

DSA member Julia Reichert's 1993 film, "Emma and Elvis", tells a tale of burned-out New Leftists and younger postpunk counterculturalists searching for meaning and community in Dayton, Ohio, in 1989.

Reichert's best-known previous films, the Oscar-nominated "Union Maids" and "Seeing Red" (made with her former partner Jim Klein), were documentary explorations of the lives of radicals who came of age in the 1930s and 1940s.[6]

"Seeing Red"

In 1984 Socialist Review sold out a West Coast premiere January 19 of "Seeing Red", a film by DSAers Julia Reichert and Jim Klein on the lives of Communists during the thirties and forties.[7]


  1. [Aitken, Ian (2006). Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film. New York: Routledge. p. 1111.]
  2. Dem.Left, March/April 1993, page 22.
  4. New American Movement Speakers Bureau booklet, 1980s
  5. DSA Feminist Commission Directory, 1985
  6. Dem.Left, March/April 1993, page 20.
  7. [1]