A Marine Park photographer is praying for a Hollywood ending in a saga that began when he snapped a mysterious handcuffed and kissing couple.
Mo Gelber, 42, entered his photo, “Last Kiss,” into famed director Ron Howard’s Project Imaginat10n contest where 10 photos out of thousands are chosen as the basis for a short film series.
Gelber tracked down the lovebirds who he snapped being led away by cops in front of Manhattan Criminal Court on Aug. 16th.
“I am completely ecstatic. To get this recognition means a lot to me,” said the amateur shutterbug who had a taste of fame recording street videos of city workers snoozing on the job.
But in a plot twist right off the big screen, Gelber needs their written permission for the photo to make the final round – and that’s no easy feat.
The 26-year-old guy in the picture is locked up in a city jail cell for a graffiti spree – and his girlfriend won’t sign Gelber’s paperwork until her sweetie is sprung.
The mystery photo caught the pair stealing their final kiss after a night of mischief.
Gelber launched an all-night search for them after getting a call from the Imaginati10n staff telling his picture was under consideration for the final round and that he needed the couple’s permission.
Early Thursday, Alexis Creque, 28, contacted Gelber, saying she and her boyfriend were the cuffed cuties.
“We knew that we were going to be split up once we got to Central Booking,” Creque, 28, told The News explaining the passionate peck and that her boyfriend of five months is still “locked up somewhere in Brooklyn.”
Creque said cops busted her 26-year-old beau on August 15th after he was caught outside the trendy members-only Milk & Honey lounge on the Lower East Side writing on their outside wall.
“He’s a fine artist and does graffiti all over the city. A lot of people know him,” said Creque refusing to share her sweetheart’s identity.
Authorities are charging him in various boroughs for the spree of illegal street art while Creque said she was released because it was her first arrest.
“I was just the look-out,” she said. “We had a crazy romance all summer. It is like a movie.”
Gelber is worried that the unnamed graffiti writer won’t make it out of police custody before the Saturday deadline for the completed paperwork.
“I will bring the release form to Rikers if I have to,” Gelber said. “I just really want to win this contest.”