A COLCHESTER filmmaker who has captured Highwoods Country Park for his latest project is appealing for votes for an international competition.

Cerven Cotter, 34, who has lived in Colchester for five years, submitted short film Boy in the Woods for Nikon’s European Film Festival.

The two-and-a-half minute flick is an “ode to being adventurous and young,” and follows Cerven’s six-year-old son, Cale, over a summer afternoon in Highwoods Park.


The idea was to capture the spirit of exploration, Cerven said, and to show how we feel when we are in new, beautiful places.

He said: “As a family we spend a lot of time exploring this forest and it ties in with the theme of the competition.

“I find my inspiration in human beings and the way we view the world.

“Beautiful surroundings and the desire to share those with others is probably another major factor for me, much like trying to convey the essence of riding a skateboard and showcasing just what is possible.”

This is the second year Cerven has tried his luck in the competition.

In 2015 he entered NIGHTSCENE, a film about skateboarding, which was shot during winter and featured popular locations in the town at night.

Showing off his home is important to Cerven and the reason why much of his projects are rooted in Colchester.

He said: “I believe in allowing the world to see the town through my eyes.

“Getting local support is so important to any artist and if the people of Colchester can get behind my film by pushing the public vote into first place, it will allow me to further showcase aspects our beautiful home in future films.”


The competition challenges filmmakers to make an everyday moment memorable in up to 140 seconds.

There are five categories, including Grand Prix Best Film, Best Narrative and People’s Choice, and four expert judges, who will vote alongside the public.

All the votes are cast online and the winning entries will be awarded with professional Nikon film kit, plus an all-expenses paid trip to the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in France.

With just a few days left until the public vote closes on Monday, February 1 at 10am, Cerven is hoping people will rally behind his passion.

He said: “Winning the public vote would be amazing to just know all of those people took their time to watch the film and approved of it.

“But winning any one of the categories would be a massive boost for me especially with the camera gear prizes on offer because it will allow me to push my craft forward.”

To vote for Boy in the Woods, visit www.nikonfilmfestival.com/submissions/?id=218#.VqvUA1OLT-Y