ELK RAPIDS — An Elk Rapids cinematographer's name will appear in screen credits at one of the world's most prestigious film festivals.
Jeff Turick served as director of photography for “Hiding in Daylight,” which was selected for a May 19 screening at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Turick said the film is one of 29 finalists to screen during the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase.
“We were thrilled about that,” he said. “The Cannes Film Festival is like the Academy Awards of film festivals.”
The cinematographer said he worked with director Cheryl Allison, an out lesbian who is also a Broadway and film actress, and New Jersey writer Gregory Allen, to visualize how the film came together. The 15-minute drama follows two couples who are forced to meet in secret after a gay purge in a dystopian future.
The crew finished the film in late 2018 and it premiered at the Oxford Film Festival earlier this year. Turick said since then, it has been “heavily doing the rounds of the festival circuit.”
Though he is not attending the festival, Turick said he is glad to help expose people to the issue of gay rights and persecution.
“I hadn’t realized how bad it is in some places around the world,” he said. “I realized just how important of a story it is to get out there. We have to make sure people can live the lives of who they are.”
Allen said he worked with Turick several years ago for another film and knew he wanted him involved with “Hiding in Daylight.” He sent the script to Turick, who offered some ideas.
“He has a wonderful eye for different types of storytelling,” Allen said. “He also knows how to get to the heart of a story. It’s a heavy-duty one. He can find the emotional heaviness of that scene.”
Allen added that he hopes to expand “Hiding in Daylight” into a feature-length film, with Turick on board.
“He’s always my go-to person,” he said. “I would work with Jeff anytime.”
Turick has worked in the film industry since the early 1990s. He started as a computer animator and spent about 20 years as a director of photography — namely for television commercials — in New York. His first feature film “Cut Up” earned an LA Filmmaker Award in 1994, and more recently, the short film “Allison” was shown at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Turick said he and his wife decided to move to Elk Rapids in 2017 because his wife’s family is in the area and the couple didn’t want their teenage son to grow up in a bustling city.
“We wanted a different lifestyle,” he said. “We knew the area and we loved the area. We definitely feel like we made the right choice.”
Around the same time as the move, Turick started his own northern Michigan production company, Lakehouse Creative. He said he still plans to travel to New York for other projects.