India-Set Short Film on Menstruation Lands Oscar Nomination
A film on menstruation, set in rural India, titled "Period. End of Sentence," has earned a nomination in the Documentary Short Subject category for the 91st Academy Awards.
Award-winning filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi has directed the short film, which has been produced by Guneet Monga's Sikhya Entertainment.
The film came to being as a part of The Pad Project, started by students at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles and their teacher, Melissa Berton.
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.
Millions of women across the globe still use things like sand, ash, jute bads, dirty pieces of cloth, and even cow dung as protection during menstruation. The situation is dire in India. In 2011, a survey conducted by AC Nielsen revealed that only 12 percent of Indian women use sanitary pads.
Add the stigma around menstruation to this inaccessibility and films like “Period. End of Sentence” become even more relevant.
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".
The 91st Academy Awards will be held on 25 February. No host has been decided for the ceremony yet, after Kevin Hart stepped down following a controversy over his old homophobic tweets.
(With inputs from PTI.)