Emma Branderhorst’s OSCAR® qualified SPOTLESS sheds an unflinching spotlight on period poverty

Director Emma Branderhorst SPOTLESS tackles the worldwide issue of not being able to afford female sanitary products. This live action short film shares a story of a 15 year old girl, Ruby, as she navigates having her period while not being able to afford period products. This important film will now compete for an Academy Awards® nomination.

In 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to provide sanitary products free of charge. Unfortunately the world statistics are still startling with 1 in 10 women being impacted by lack of access to affordable period products. Around the world people and groups are working towards making tampons and sanitary napkins easily accessible, and less expensive, for those who need them. Films such as SPOTLESS bolster such efforts and start a dialogue about period poverty. 

In the film we follow 15-year-old Ruby. During her period, she doesn’t dare to ask her mother for tampons or sanitary pads because she knows that money is tight. She tries to fix it herself. 

Director Emma Branderhorst is a graduate of the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Former projects of hers include MA MERE, ET MOI, UNDER THE SKIN, and FEMME. In her films, she tackles societal issues that people tend to avoid discussing; from the impact of family on sexual development, to the subtle breakdown of individuality in young girls. 

Alicia Prinsen (HIDDEN STORIES & SPOTLESS) stars as Ruby with a vulnerability that makes it impossible for audiences not to empathise with her attempts to cope and fix her situation. Astrid van Eck (GRIT, GRENSLANDER, & THE FORGOTTEN BATTLE) stars alongside Prinsen asmother Barbara. With these talents and Branderhorst’s directorial approach, it’s no surprise the film won the OSCAR® qualifying Grand Prix for Best Short Film at the Festival Regard Canada ‘22. 

The OSCAR shortlist will be announced on December 21st, 2022.

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