Period Stories
Charlotte Forsgård

Why is this even a topic of conversation?

Period Stories is an award-winning, crowdsourced short documentary about menstruation experiences from around the world.

In February 2015, Charlotte Forsgård posted a video online sharing her most embarrassing period story. She asked people to join her and share their period stories on camera. In just two months, she had received clips from Kenya to New Zealand from ages 16 to 70. But as with all great things – the antagonists of Twitter weren't convinced. These video clips and tweets became the light-hearted and funny little film that is Period Stories.

Genre: Documentary
Duration: 19 m 38 s
Language: English
Available subtitles and captions: Finnish, English, French, Spanish, Croatian
Completed: May, 2015
Premiere: #RikoTabu / #BreakTheBloodyTaboo, May 28, Tampere, Finland

Past Screenings:
Long Story, Short Film, May 29, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference, June 5, 2015, Boston, US
The Unmentionables Film Festival, June 18 & 20, 2015, New York, US
MuuMaa B.Y.O.V., July 17, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
Aitolahden kesäjuhlat, August 1, 2015, Tampere, Finland
Tervis Fest, August 22, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
Artova Film Festival, September 5, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
MICGénero, September 11, 2015, Mexico City, Mexico
Helsinki International Film Festival, September 21 & 26, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
MICGénero, September 23, 2015, Oaxaca, Mexico
MICGénero, October 6, 2015, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
SAGA Film Festival, October 24–25, 2015, Stockholm, Sweden
Hangon elokuvajuhlat, November 1, 2015, Hanko, Finland
VoxFeminae Film Festival, November 3–8, 2015, Zagreb, Croatia
35 VGIK International Student Festival, November 18, 2015, Moscow, Russia
YOUKI International Youth Media Festival, November 20, 2015, Wels, Austria
Visions Film Festival, April 15, 2016, Wilmington, North Carolina, US
BOdyssey, October 7, 2016, Helsinki, Finland
Brussels International Women's Film Festival, January 29, 2017, Brussels, Belgium
Femmes en Résistance, September 30, 2017, Paris, France
Les Filministes, November 30, 2017, Rimouski, Canada
Festival Filministes, March 11, 2018, Montréal, Canada
Right to Bleed: Screening, February 15, 2019, Hong Kong

Country of Production: Finland
Production Company: Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Written, Edited, and Directed by / Charlotte Forsgård
Animation by / Heta Saukkonen
Illustrations by / Kirsikka Ruohonen
Assistant Editor / Sini Kononen
Sound Design / Santtu Vainio
Music / Apollo Music
Production Manager / Jenni Pulli
Line Producer / Nea-Maria Törmänen
Produced by / Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Arto Tuohimaa

Supervising Teachers /
Heikki Ahola
Annakaisa Sukura
Päivi Takala
Hanna Maylett
Pertti Venetjoki
Kai Ansio
Jouko Seppälä

Featuring /
(in order of appearance)
Audrey Baldwin
Henrik Forsgård
Ella Koivumäki
Hanna Sarsa
Aino Ropponen
Dedy Wong
Paola Elefante
Fabrizio Trotti
Sole Molander
Kirsikka Ruohonen
Elisa Järvinen
Chantell Migadde
Meagan Campbell
Giorgia De Zen
Ida Ryynänen
Irmeli Aro
Sarita Poptani
Samantha Gann

Produced in cooperation with / Finland National Committee for UN Women

Audience Award / Artova Film Festival 2015
Best Local Film / Artova Film Festival 2015

Director's Bio

Photo :  peter forsgård

Photo: peter forsgård

Charlotte Forsgård (b. 1993) is a film student from Helsinki, Finland. Her passion for filmmaking first sparked in 2012 while she was living in New Zealand. Alone in a strange new country, she found herself filming local bands and performance artists and staying up late experimenting with editing.

After returning to Finland she studied screenwriting and is currently studying towards a Bachelor’s degree in cinematography and editing at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

Period Stories (2015) is her directorial debut film.

Director's Statement (2015)

Just last fall, I was still referring to my period as ”my female problem”. Today that feels ridiculous – even dangerous. Since embarking on this journey to document our period stories, I’ve learned just how harmful it can be to think of menstruation as something gross, unhygienic, and shameful. In some cultures, the consequences of this on women’s lives are more severe than in others, but it all comes down to the that fact that if we are to affiliate shame with periods, we are by extension affiliating shame with having female reproductive organs.

What has been the most amazing about this project, is that not only has my own attitude changed but it seems to have been incredibly infectious. I’ve had countless conversations about whether we should be talking about periods or not and I’ve seen a lot of people gradually become more comfortable with the idea. Much like me, most people had never really realized that they were ashamed in the first place. If you’re not aware of something, how can you begin to question it?

Period Stories Around the Web

"Period – The Shameful Blood"
SOLO (Swedish)

"A Blood-Red Revolution"
Flamman (Swedish)

"A Finnish Film Project Collects Period Stories from Around the World!"
Mensenorg (Swedish)

"Share Your Period Story for a Chance to be Part of a Global Period Documentary!"
The Period Blog

"Sexy Sundays: Breaking Down The Taboo of Periods"

"Veritaiteilija ja dokumentaristi osoittavat, että menkkoja on turha hävetä"
Improbatur (Finnish)

"Busting the Myth: documentari sulle menstruazioni"
soft revolution (Italian)

"Period Stories"
Menskligt (Swedish)