‘Period. End of Sentence’, a film about women in India fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation and delving upon the work of real life ‘Pad Man’ Arunachalam Muruganathan, has made it to the Oscar shortlist in the Documentary Short Subject category.
The film is executive produced by Guneet Monga and is co-produced by Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment, which has backed films such as ‘The Lunchbox’ and ‘Masaan’.
After the Oscar shortlist was announced in Los Angeles on Monday, Monga posted on Instagram: “Waking up to this shortlist! So proud and so exciting... I am so humbled to be a part of the producing team.”
Directed by award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi, the film is created by created by The Pad Project, an organisation established by an inspired group of students at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles and their teacher, Melissa Berton.
The 26-minute film follows girls and women in Hapur in northern India and their experience with the installation of a pad machine in their village.
According to The Hollwood Reporter, the film also delves upon Muruganantham’s invention of an easy-to-operate machine that makes low-cost sanitary napkins using supplies that are readily available in India.
Muruganantham, whose story inspired the Bollywood feature film ‘Pad Man’, brings his machines to these small towns, helping train women to operate them and in turn sell the supplies at very affordable prices to other women in their area. The women retain the profits of their labour, effectively creating a sustainable women-run micro-business that protects both their health and their community’s economic future.
‘Period. End of Sentence’ is among ten films that have advanced in the Documentary Short Subject category for the 91st Academy Awards. A total of 104 films had originally qualified in the category.
India’s entry for the Foreign Language Film Category, ‘Village Rockstars’ is out of the Oscar race, as is Iram Haq’s Norwegian drama ‘What Will People Say’, starring Indian actors Adil Hussain and Ekavali Khanna.
Nominations for the 91st Oscars will be announced on January 22, 2019, over a month ahead of the Oscars ceremony which is slated to be held on February 24, 2019.