A short film inspired by eight photographs, and selected by Ron Howard in a photography competition, will premiere Feb. 2 at the AMC Ahwatukee 24 movie theater.
The film, "when you find me," is the product of Canon's Project Imagin8ion, the first photo contest to inspire a short Hollywood film. The film focuses on two sisters who lost their mother, and how they cope with the loss. Howard produced the film and selected the eight winning photos. His daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, directed the film.
The film was inspired by eight photographs. The categories include setting, time, character, mood, relationship, goal, obstacle and the unknown.
Mesa native Michael "Mikey" L'Heureux, a 22-year-old photographer, submitted photos for all of the categories and his photo, "City Lights," won in the "mood" category.
L'Heureux began pursuing his photography career shortly after high school, mostly focusing on film and interned with Urban Truth Productions. He would also edit MySpace profile pictures for himself and his friends. After improving his editing skills, L'Heureux wanted to improve his photography skills and purchased his own camera.
"I love photography so much," L'Heureux said. His main focus is portrait photography.
L'Heureux discovered Project Imagin8ion through YouTube. He thought the project was a great idea and decided to submit some of his photographs. L'Heureux did not take any new photographs for the contest; he just matched photos from his portfolio to the various categories.
With almost 100,000 submissions, the overall process to select the winning photos took about two months. The public was allowed to vote on the photos until there were only 20 photos in each category. Howard then selected the best photos from each category.
L'Heureux was taking his sister's senior portraits when he received the call that his photograph would be featured in Howard's film. He and his sister had to contain their excitement for two weeks before they could tell family and friends.
"It was an amazing feeling, I will never forget that day," he said.
L'Heureux received Canon equipment and was able to fly to New York City and meet with Howard for the world premiere of the film.
"The film is really fascinating," said L'Heureux, who has already seen the film twice.
Ahwatukee 24 will hold a free screening of the 23-minute film on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The screening is open to friends, family and the Ahwatukee community.
"I'm very excited about the premiere and I can't wait to see my family and friends," L'Heureux said.
To learn more about Project Imagin8ion, view script excerpts and the other winning photos, visit http://canon.thismoment.com. To RSVP for the free screening of the film, e-mail CanonPhoenixScreening@grey.com.
Arselia Gales is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.