One man's timely photograph of a couple kissing just as they are being handcuffed by the police could end up being the basis for a film.
That's the good news for amateur photographer Mo Gelber, 42.
The bad news is that Gelber's "Last Kiss" snapshot will be eligible to win this year's "Project Imaginat10n" contest sponsored by filmmaker Ron Howard only if Gelber can obtain written permission from the couple.
Gelber is a finalist in the contest. Each year, the top 10 submissions are turned into short films.
It's already been quite a journey for Gelber, who first had to track down the couple, whom he photographed as they were being arrested in August in front of Manhattan Criminal Court on graffiti charges.
"I am completely ecstatic. To get this recognition means a lot to me," Gelber told the New York Daily News.
The problem is the unnamed man in the picture is still in jail and his forlorn girlfriend Alexis Creque, 28, won't cooperate with Gelber until her boyfriend is released from jail.
"We knew that we were going to be split up once we got to Central Booking," Creque said of why she and the man kissed as they were being arrested. "I was just the look-out," she said. "We had a crazy romance all summer. It is like a movie."
In fact, the couple bear a striking resemblance to the characters portrayed in "True Romance," starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. Somewhat mirroring reality, the film's couple fall in love while in the midst of a major crime spree.
As for Gelber, he says he's willing to do anything within his power to keep his chances alive.
"I will bring the release form to Rikers if I have to," he told the paper. "I just really want to win this contest."