Shawn Cotter has been part of the film festival experience for over two decades as both an experimental filmmaker and as part of a festival team. He graduated in 1993 from the University of Massachusetts with a BA in Comparative Literature/Film Studies and was one of the first graduates to receive a certificate in Film Studies from the university’s Amherst campus. It was during his freshman year that he picked up a Super 8 mm camera at the urging of a trusted professor and his love of filmmaking took off.
Shawn joined the merry band of Queer propagandists and storytellers at Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival in 2011, where he has held many roles and worn lots of hats. He has served as Operations Manager for his first 6 years. He took on the role as Director of Programming for 4 years before taking over the Executive Directorship in 2018. He also currently serves as director of programming at the FMLGBTFF in North Dakota. His belief that film festivals are platforms to celebrate underrepresented stories and communities has lead him to lend his operational and programming skill set to colleague festivals such as Boston Women’s Film Festival, Melanin Pride FF, FMLGBTFF, NDHRFF, Global Tourism FF, NGIAFF, AFI and the Shenandoah Film Collaborative.