Indore: City film director Stanley Hector’s latest short documentary film, The Hero Within, has been selected among 58 feature, short and documentary films in 15 different Indian languages to be screened at the 21st New York Indian Film Festival 2021—North America’s oldest and the most prestigious film festival about the Indian diaspora. The film will compete for the Best Short Documentary award alongside two more nominees in the same category. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival will be held virtually and all the films will stream globally on the festival’s streaming partner, MovieSaints, from June 4-13.
The film is about the story of Indra Shyamalal, one of the city’s municipality cleanliness workers who has been attracting a lot of attention lately through her dedicated work ethics and her passion for making a daily rangoli on the streets that she cleans. Stanley says, “At first, when I met Indra, I was captivated by the energy she radiated. She spoke so passionately about her work and freely shared with us her life’s journey. My team and I instantly decided that this was a story we should bring forward which would not only inspire our audience but would also give recognition to the woman’s persistence.”
‘Entire team is elated’
‘With this film, I not only wanted to highlight her life story, but also bring forward the city’s achievements in becoming the cleanest city of India for four years in a row since 2017. Now that the film has been selected for the NYIFF, our entire team is elated to know that this achievement will finally be shared by a global audience’
— City film director Stanley Hector
Small crew of four
Stanley brings together a small crew of four—comprising Swapneel Mahindre, Chinmay Vyas, Alok Richhariya and Robin Rathore—which shot the film for three days at Narayan Bagh. The film also features exterior shots of Gandhi Hall and Rajwada to highlight the city’s heritage.
Stanley studied directing fiction from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, in the Czech Republic, in 2020
He has been independently writing and directing short films since 2012
Stanley worked as an assistant director for a couple of years in the advertisement industry in Mumbai
After that, he moved back to Indore since the first lockdown and plans to shoot more films in the city
Awards and accolades
Stanley’s last short film, Pablo, a psychological thriller won the Best Short Film Award at the annual Manhattan Short Film Festival India, 2019, conducted by Pocket Films, a leading YouTube channel for the promotion of indie short films in India. Pocket Films further curated the film to Disney+ Hotstar for its online distribution.
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