Last Thursday night, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard took to the stage at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to introduce the second iteration of Project Imaginat10n—the first ever photo-inspired film festival. An endeavor of passion, which he began in 2011, Howard and Canon U.S.A. partnered to invite photographers from all over the world—and of varying degrees of skill and accomplishment—to submit their original work. Based on different elements of storytelling, more than 100,000 photos were submitted, and from there, eight shots were selected to be used in the inspiration and making of a short film. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard took the directorial helm of the photos culled from the submissions, and created the acclaimed and award-winning short film when you find me.
Speaking to Project Imaginat10n, Howard expressed that their mission was not only to display the myriad talents of photographers across the world, but for artists to see their work in a new light and to inspire people to explore their own creativity and embark on the wonder of imagination and how a simple image can ignite an entire creative venture. And after the success of the first Project Imaginat10n process, Howard decided to see what would happen if he expanded his project into a full-fledged festival. This time, photographers were asked to interpret 10 storytelling themes through photography, from which a massive 91 photos were selected.
“I am so proud to be part of this creative journey with Canon, the impetus to ten inspiring, brave and audacious films that are a testament to the power of the imagination,” said Ron Howard, who alongside Bryce chose ten winning films from hundreds of user-generated shorts submitted. Five “celebrity” directors participated in the festival, each stepping outside the creative field which their known for to flex their muscles behind the camera and bring their photo inspiration to life.
The films selected and screening as part of the festival are:
Jamie Foxx’s “…And She Was My Eve”
Eva Longoria’s “Out of the Blue”
Georgina Chapman’s “A Dream of Flying”
James Murphy’s “Little Duck”
Biz Stone’s “Evermore”
Arrius Sorbonne’s “Dominus”
Jared Nelson’s “Chucked”
Julian Higgins’s “Here and Now”
Kalman Apple’s “A Day in the Country”
Ronnie Allman’s “Filter”
While all the short films were an excellent exercise in creativity and visionary exploration, our favorite was Chapman’s “A Dream of Flying.” Starring Dree Hemingway, Remy Bond, and Aaron Tevit, the fairy tale-esque film was a gorgeously crafted and heartfelt fantastical love story about “a girl who will spend her whole life trying not to fly, and a boy who would give his life to teach her”—which also happened to be written by Neil Gaiman. As the co-founder and co-designer of Marchesa, the short was an aesthetically pleasing and sartorially ethereal first directorial work by Chapman.
So to learn more about Project Imaginat10n, and to see all the films for yourself, head HERE. Also, check out the creative process behind the scenes with Ron Howard talking about how Project Imagination has turned into an amazing new venue for creativity, Jamie Foxx sharing his creative vision behind the camera and a directors’ roundtable (below) discussing the creative process of filmmaking.