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Powhatan resident's photo chosen for Ron Howard contest

July 21, 2013


July 21--"Gritty determination."

That's what Powhatan County resident Dick Pitini said he felt when he saw the shoeless man with the raggedy beard rocketing across the New Orleans intersection on a scooter, oblivious to the red light.

In that split second, Pitini snapped a photograph.

"He's running a red light like he's not going to let anything stop him," Pitini said.

That photo, titled "Moving On," was one of 91 chosen to be part of Project Imaginat10n, a film contest sponsored by Canon USA and led by Ron Howard and his daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard.

Five celebrities will make short films inspired by 10 photos that represent nine storytelling themes: character, mood, goal, backstory, setting, obstacle, relationship, the unknown and time. A 10th category -- discovery -- will include a photo chosen by Ron Howard.

The celebrities are actress Eva Longoria, actor Jamie Foxx, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Marchesa fashion designer and co-founder Georgina Chapman and James Murphy, founder of LCD Soundsystem.

But five amateur filmmakers are also invited to compete in an amateur film competition. The winning amateur films will be chosen by the Howards. They'll be packaged together with the celebrity films as "A Ron Howard Presentation" and premier at the Project Imaginat10n Film Festival this fall.

Pitini's photo was one of 10 chosen for the character category. Additionally, Murphy chose Pitini's picture from the character category as inspiration.

The former This End Up Furniture vice president picked up photography seriously after retirement, he said.

One of his favorite genres is street photography, so while in New Orleans working on a multimedia project for a service dog organization, he spent some time in the French Quarter.

He was walking along the street when he saw the man on the scooter. He said he regrets that he wasn't able to catch up with him and talk to him, as he likes to do with subjects he shoots on the street.

While there are no financial winnings from being chosen for the contest, Pitini said he did receive prizes from Canon as well as an invite to New York in the fall to see the premiere of the 10 films.

"It's just the honor of being chosen," Pitini said.

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