Michigan native's documentary 'Period. End of Sentence.' wins an Oscar

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FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) - (02/27/2019) - A 26-year old documentary film maker from Michigan hit the red carpet in Los Angeles Sunday, his team walking away with an Oscar.

"i just remember looking out at the audience looking back at us and being lost in a rush," Sam Davis said via Skype Wednesday night.

The film he helped produce, shoot, and edit, 'Period. End of Sentence.' won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.

Davis, a Potterville High School graduate who completed his degree in film at USC in 2016 said he was so excited, he could not remember a word from his girlfriend's acceptance speech.

Rayka Zehtabchi served as the film's director.

This all began when two traveled to India in 2017 to document a project started by a group of high school students.

'Period. End of Sentence.' begins by addressing the stigma associated with menstruation in a rural village in northern India.

A group of high school kids in LA purchased a machine through a "Kickstarter" campaign that could be used by the women in the village to make pads, providing them with jobs and the freedom feminine hygiene products allow.

The film documents the cultural transformation that takes place:

"We had come back and these girls were proud to be earning wages doing something they never would have uttered a word of," Davis noted.
"I think that's what's powerful about documentary is we see it creating actual change."

Davis said some of the subjects of the film made the trip to L.A. for Sunday's award ceremony.

"To be reunited at the Academy Awards was absolutely amazing," he said.

While the ceremony was exciting, he described the joy of the journey:

"Go into a place and experience a culture you never would have known about and get to form legitimate relationships with the people there," he said.

Davis' next project will bring him back to Michigan for his feature directorial debut. He's planning on shooting a film called "Cents" about the Potterville Train derailment in 2002.

His advice for aspiring young film makers? Get a camera and make something.