Digital imaging company Canon U.S.A. and director Ron Howard have selected eight winners of the “Project Imagin8ion” user-generated photo contest from 96,362 submissions.

Launched on May 22, the project invited photographers of all levels to submit their most imaginative images based on a series of eight separate movie themes, each one a core tenet of storytelling, to ultimately inspire a short film. The pic, credited as a Ron Howard production, will be directed by Bryce Dallas Howard.

The winners, ranging in age from 20 to 44, are:

• Walter Arnold of Hendersonville, N.C., winner in the Setting category for the photo “The Final View”

• Jen Berry of Los Angeles, winner in the Character category for the photo “Dreams”

• Mikey L’Heureux of Tarzana, Calif., winner in the Mood category for the photo “City Lights”

• Brooke Shaden of Canoga Park, Calif., winner in the Time category for the photo “Running From Wind”

• Alan Michael Martelly of Peachtree City, Ga., winner in the Goal category for the photo “My Word”

• Lexia Frank of Wesley Chapel, Fla., winner in the Relationship category for the photo “Too Much”

• Chris Wehner of Broken Arrow, Okla., winner in the Obstacle category for the photo, “Yea, Though I Walk”

• Kelly Shipp of Conway, Ark., winner in the category The Unknown for the photo “Where One Day Ends, One Day Begins”

“This project has opened my eyes to the infinite possibilities of tapping into a larger community for creative inspiration,” said Ron Howard. “As I selected the photographs, the story started to take shape using these building blocks to drive the tone and narrative possibilities. I was handed this challenge by Canon and I’m very interested to see how this exercise plays out with Bryce now taking charge to direct a film that is very much influenced by these eight photos.”

Ron Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard and production company Freestyle Productions are currently working with the eight winning photos to craft the story, develop the script and produce a short film using Canon DSLR products. The film goes into production in September and will premiere later this year in New York City, where the winners will be invited to a red carpet event and meet Ron Howard.

“Our goal was to launch a long-term campaign that demonstrates how Canon’s technology enables artistry among photographers of all levels, championing the imagination of the masses,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, exec veep, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “The number of entries has by far surpassed our expectations and we know the finished product will be a truly beautiful film, one that would never have been made without the enthusiastic online community.”

Grey New York, Canon’s longtime agency partner, continues to develop the creative and digital elements of the multiphase campaign that will go beyond the short film. Alliance, the entertainment and lifestyle marketing division of Grey, is managing the partnership with Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The eight winning photographs can be seen at www.youtube.com/imagination