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    Barack and Michelle Obama to make films for Netflix

    Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal with Netflix to produce films and documentaries for the TV streaming giant.
    The former US president and first lady will develop ideas for potential shows on service including “scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features”.
    “One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said the former president in a statement. 
    “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”
    Barack Obama already has a connection with Netflix, having appeared on a special programme with talkshow host David Letterman.
    The Obamas, who have kept a relatively low profile since leaving office, have established a company named Higher Ground Productions to manage the project.
    The New York Times has previously reported the former president was in talks to develop shows “that highlight inspirational stories” rather than attacking conservatives or criticising Donald Trump.
    Michelle Obama hinted that their programmes would follow this template, saying she and her husband have “always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others”.
    Netflix, which is spending billions of dollars a year on original content such as Stranger Things and The Crown, has a stock market valuation of $140bn (£104bn) and 125 million subscribers.
    It is increasingly able to outbid broadcasters for rights to the top stars while also offering greater creative control to producers than traditional TV stations or movie studios.
    “Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly recognised public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
    “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”