This year, a Kenyon Lady stepped foot on stage at the 91st Academy Awards, and it wasn’t Allison Janney ’82. Kenyon student Ruby Schiff ’21 graced the stage when the film “Period. End of Sentence” won best documentary (short subject).
“I’ve never felt a bigger adrenaline rush,” Schiff said in a dispatch shared with the Collegian. “The whole team was beyond elated.”
“Period. End of Sentence” tells the true story of women in India who are fighting the stigma surrounding menstruation and working to increase the availability of sanitary pads.
“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything,” Rayka Zehtabchi, the film’s director, said during her acceptance speech. “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”
Schiff was part of a group of producers who helped fundraise for the film and the Pad Project, their non-profit organization, through Kickstarter. The Pad Project seeks to help girls in developing countries manage their periods by outfitting communities with machines that dispense affordable, biodegradable pads. Now that the film has an Oscar under its belt, the Kickstarter has received an influx of new donations.
“The donations streaming into our non-profit, The Pad Project, which will provide more pad machines to other communities in need, will impact the lives of women and girls around the world,” Schiff said.
Though the project began when Schiff was still in high school, the College was quick to congratulate the sophomore. Minutes after the win, President Sean Decatur tweeted: “Congratulations to Ruby Schiff ‘21 on the Academy Award winning Period. End of Sentence.”
“It’s interesting and exciting on a number of levels: the subject matter of the film, the opportunity for high school students to really be in the lead of pushing ahead a project like that as a part of their work in school, the opportunity to continue with that work afterwards,” Decatur said.
“Period. End of Sentence” is now available for streaming on Netflix.