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After Period. End of Sentence. won the award for best documentary short at the 2019 Oscars, the film’s producer joked that her emotions were “not because I’m on my period,” despite the film being about menstruation.
“I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!” Rayka Zehtabchi joked upon accepting the award with fellow producer Melissa Berton.
Backstage, Zehtabchi was asked if there was a particular “hard-hitting emotional moment” on the film that made her realize the project was worth it. She began, “When I was in India shooting with Sam Davis, my creative partner, we surveyed hundreds of women and men and some of the responses that we would hear about what menstruation is were when women who had been menstruating their entire lives couldn’t tell us what a period was. They didn’t know or understand why they would menstruate each month. In fact, they had gone their entire lives believing they had an illness.”
Zehtabchi continued, I think that was one of the most heartbreaking things for me as a woman and especially as a young woman as well, seeing that you could go your entire life fearing this thing that happens to your body. I can’t even imaging what else would you be afraid to do.”
Period. End of Sentence. is the second Oscar-winning documentary short set in India this century, along with Smile Pinki (2008).
The 2019 Oscars took place at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood and were televised live on the ABC Television Network.
Following Kevin Hart stepping down as host, the ceremony was presented hostless for the first time in 30 years. It included numerous musical performances, including a Queen opening number featuring Adam Lambert.
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