A film on menstruation, set in rural India, titled “Period. End of Sentence,” has won the Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 91st Academy Awards.
Award-winning filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi has directed the short film, which has been co-produced by Indian producer Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment.
The film came into being as a part of The Pad Project, started by students at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles and their teacher, Melissa Berton.
“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything. I can’t believe a film on menstruation won an Oscar,” Zehtabchi said in her acceptance speech.
The documentary feature is set in Hapur village outside Delhi, where women lead a quiet revolution as they fight against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation.
For generations, these women did not have access to sanitary pads, which lead to health issues and girls dropping out from schools.
When a sanitary pad vending machine is installed in the village, the women learn to manufacture and market their own pads, empowering their community. They name their brand FLY.
Other documentary shorts nominated in the category were “Black Sheep”, “End Game”, “Lifeboat” and “A Night at the Garden”.
India’s moment at the Oscars comes exactly a decade after A R Rahman and sound engineer Resul Pookutty won the Academy awards for “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009.