The New York Film Academy Industry Lab shot a short film with director Ina Rose Farestad entitled “Stand by Her.” The Lab members involved were Alejandro Talens, Hans Sternward (swing gang) Gary Kent( steadi cam op), Kseniya Yorsh (producer), and Ferid Hasburn (Director of Photography).
Farestad’s film is about Nina — a girl who feels very lonely and rejected after she finds out that her ex-boyfriend cheated on her. When the story starts, she is sitting in a coffee shop with her best friend and having a difficult time getting over him. Her friend is a very strong and opinionated person with a more sober outlook on love than Nina. She stands up for her friend and is not afraid to say things the way they are instead of sugarcoating them. Every girl can relate to both of these characters. Being the one suffering from rejection but also the one who’s been there for your best friend.
“I wrote this because I wanted to celebrate friendship and because I wanted to defy the notion of being ‘alone’ in society, if you don’t have a romantic partner,” said Farestad. “By the end of the short, Nina realizes that just because she doesn’t have a boyfriend it doesn’t mean she’s on her own. She has other people in her life, even strangers, that look out for her.”
The film also deals with our tendencies as people to choose not to get involved when we see something that isn’t right. What would it be like in a world where this behavior isn’t enabled and protected? What would it be like if people stepped in? That’s what the people in the coffee shop do. They have all heard the girls talking, so when the ex-boyfriend unexpectedly shows up, they all get involved.
“Ina Rose Farestad and I met last year on the set of a short film I was producing,” said producer Kseniya Yorsh. “She was one of our actors, and we kept in touch after that film finished. Then, earlier this year, she contacted me and mentioned she was planning to write and direct her first film in the fall. Sure enough, half a year later, I received an email from Ina saying that her script is ready and that she would like me to produce it. That was very exciting because, first of all, I love it when people say what they wish or plan to do and then circumstances align in the way that allows them to fulfill it. And secondly, the script was very good. It was funny, light-hearted, but also very sincere and personal. So I was in as soon as I read it.”
From the aesthetic viewpoint, the film is beautiful thanks to director of photography, Dhruv Lapsia, who was able to capture the mood of the story and transmit it visually in a gorgeous way.
“We want to honor that and the hard work of the talent and crew who brought the film to life and do a festival round for the film,” said Melinda Graves, NYFA’s Diversity and Industry Lab Coordinator