Eric. R. Cotten was born and raised in the projects of West Baltimore. Seeking a better life he put himself through college to become a critical care nurse. After an almost fatal accident he decided to diversify by entering real estate. It was through this business that he was introduced to the world of filmmaking.
Through his real estate business, he became associated with the HBO show – THE WIRE (2002- 2008). The time spent with the HBO production team reignited his long dormant creative side. He began volunteering with local film productions and with the Maryland Film Festival. Since 2005 to the present his role at the Maryland Film festival has evolved from general volunteer to Development Assistant to key member of the screening committee.
He has screened for a variety of other festivals – Baltimore Woman in Film, Annapolis Film Festival (2014) and the Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (2015- present). Additionally, he coordinated the second year of the Baltimore International Black Film Festival (2015). In his brief film career, he has written, directed, produced and/or executive produced nineteen shorts with one Sundance/Tribeca/SxSw credit (producer) (AFRONAUT- 2014). In 2016 he founded and is president of a non-profit Baltimore Filmmakers Collective (BFC) whose mission is to educate, train and assist in the underserved Baltimore community expressing itself via media. This includes educating them how to make a doc and skilling training to be able to work on a film set. His (writer/director) short THE LOVE WITHIN (2016) was accepted into several festivals across the country. In (2019-present), he joined the screening committee at the Austin Film Festival. His script LITTLE NIBS (2019) has advanced at the Austin Film Festival and PAGES screenwriting competitions. He has assisted as a mentor (2019-present) to junior and senior students at MICA,/JHU, Stevenson and Towson film programs. In 2020, he was appointed programming associate for the Maryland Film Festival and was asked to program the BaltiShorts block. His current short (writer/director) TORI has screened at over 20 festivals nationally and internationally, including several top 25 festivals- BronzeLens and the Maryland Film Festival. As of December 2020 he has been asked to return as a Programming Associate for the Maryland Film Festival curating the Baltishorts and People of Color blocks. The success of the BFC has empowered to extend his reach and impact as an individual art and coordinator assisting others less privileged in the Greater Baltimore community.