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India-set 'Period. End of Sentence' wins Documentary Short Subject Oscar

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

Press Trust of India  |  Los Angeles 

Oscars 2019
Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton pose backstage with their award for Best Documentary Short Subject award for the film "Period. End Of Sentence." Photo: Reuters

A film on menstruation, set in rural India, titled Period. End of Sentence, has won in the Documentary Short Subject category at

Award-winning filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi has directed the short film, which has been produced by Indian Guneet Monga's Sikhya Entertainment.

The film came to into being as a part of The Pad Project, started by students at the and their teacher,

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.

She also gave a nod to Monga.

Guneet Monga - know that you have been empowering women all over the world fight for menstrual equality, she added.

Dedicating the award to her school, Berton said the project was born because her students in LA and people in wanted to make a human rights difference.

I share this award with the Feminist Majority Foundation, the entire team and cast. I share this with the teachers and students around the worlds - a period should end a sentence, not a girl's education, she said.

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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.

"WE WON!!! To every girl on this earth... know that you are a goddess... if heavens are listening... look MA we put @sikhya on the map," Monga tweeted after the win.

Other documentary shorts nominated in the category were "Black Sheep", "End Game", "Lifeboat" and "A Night at the Garden".

There has been an increased focus on period hygiene in India, which was also the subject of a mainstream Bollywood movie Padman , starring Akshay Kumar in the lead role in a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantham, who started making low-cost pads in his village despite being ostracised.

India's moment at comes exactly a decade after A R won for "Slumdog Millionaire" in 2009.

First Published: Mon, February 25 2019. 08:45 IST