Meet Guneet Monga: the Woman Who Won India An Oscar for a Documentary Short
Guneet Monga has won an Academy Award at Oscars 2019 for her film ‘Period. End of Sentence’. She has also produced critically acclaimed films such as Gangs of Wasseypur and The Lunchbox
A short film, produced by Guneet Monga from India, has won the Academy Award this year.
Period. End of Sentence., a documentary that tackles the stigma around menstruation in rural India, has won the Best Documentary Short Subject at the 91st Academy Awards. The film has been co-produced by Guneet Monga and directed by 25-year-old Rayka Zehtabchi.
Monga wrote after the Oscar winner on Twitter,
“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.”
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— Guneet Monga (@guneetm) February 25, 2019
Monga grew up in Delhi and produced films like Gangs of Wasseypur. She’s the founder of Sikhya Entertainment which also produced The Lunchbox, Masaan and Zubaan.
‘Period. End of Sentence’ 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".
Monga told IANS before the Oscars ceremony: “This started seven years ago with raising money and donating one pad machine... then thought the team should make a movie for better awareness. Action India from India helped on ground in putting a machine. Rayka Zehtabchi and Sam Davis captured all of this so beautifully with Mandakini Kakar producing for Sikhya Entertainment.”
“Today here we are! All the way to Oscars and have put this story on the map! Whatever may happen.... team ‘Period. End of Sentence’ is already a winner,” she added.
Monga was also nominated in 2010 for an Academy Award for the Best Live Action Short called Kavi, a film about bonded labor in India. This is clearly Monga’s zone. In an earlier interview given to a magazine, Monga said, “The bottom line: Keep it simple, make it easy to pay yourselves, and don’t spend on lifestyle. The baseline budget of our films is below ₹ 4 crore.”