Arts & Culture

Silverman ’22 wins Oscar for documentary short

Alums, assistant professor of visual art nominated in both documentary categories

Arts and Culture Editor
Monday, February 25, 2019

Updated 7:52  P.M Feb. 25, 2019.

“Period. End of Sentence.,” executive co-produced by Charlotte Silverman ’22, won the award for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 91st Academy Awards last night. In addition to Silverman, multiple alums and a professor were nominated for Oscars.

“I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar,” said Rayka Zehtabchi, director of “Period. End of Sentence.,” during her acceptance speech. “To … the women of Kathikhera, know that you are empowering women all over the world to fight for menstrual equality,” she continued.

Melissa Berton, a teacher at Oakwood High School and a producer on the film, thanked the students behind the project, including Silverman, in her acceptance speech. “This film began because high school students here and our brave partners at Action India wanted to make a difference,” she said. “I share this with teachers and with students around the world. A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education,” Berton concluded their speech. Some of Silverman’s peers took the Dolby Theatre stage with Berton and Zehtabchi to accept the award, while Silverman cheered from the back with the women of Kathikhera who came to Los Angeles for the ceremony.

“We were all holding hands,” Silverman said, describing the moment before their film was announced as the winner of the category. When the category was announced, Silverman and her row cheered and hugged before joining the rest of their team in the lobby to celebrate. “It was honestly the craziest feeling I’ve ever experienced — it was disbelief and so much excitement. I was uncontrollably smiling,” Silverman added.

Silverman stresses that she and her peers hope that their project inspires others to get involved. “I’m hoping that …  people feel like they want to get involved with our project and also just any community initiatives,” she said. “I’m hoping that people take this and feel a connection and drive to do something that they care about.”

“End Game,” co-executive produced by Jim Mittelberger ’78 P’13, was also nominated in the Documentary Short Subject category, The Herald previously reported.

“RBG,” directed by Betsy West ’73 P’17 and Julie Cohen, and “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” directed by Assistant Professor of Visual Art RaMell Ross, were nominated for Best Documentary (Feature). “Free Solo,” directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, went on to win the award.

Glenn Close was nominated for her portrayal of Joan in “The Wife,” a film based on the novel by Meg Wolitzer ’81. Olivia Colman won the award for her portrayal of Queen Anne in “The Favourite.”

A previous version of this article stated that Silverman went onstage to help accept the award, when in fact she remained in the audience. The Herald regrets the error.

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  1. JustinReilly says:

    Pretty sure that an executive co-producer, whatever that is, can not actually win the Oscar, only one lead producer, or two in very narrow circumstances; not other producers, co-producers, executive producers or “executive co-producers.”

    In any event, glad that the film won and congratulations to Ms. Silverman!

  2. Wow, freshman wins an Academy award, Impressive!

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