A Truro College lecturer will travel to Monaco this month to see the world premiere of his film at an international movie festival.  

English teacher Tim Seyfert filmed the semi-autobiographical ‘Nowhere’ at Cornish locations in 2022. 

It has made the official selection for the Angel Film Awards at Monaco International Film Festival, from November 17 to 20.  

While the film has had a couple of showings in Cornwall, “this will be the first that wasn’t for cast and crew, family and friends,” says Tim. 

The plot: Max (Derek Nelson) is an American teacher who comes to Cornwall to be with his girlfriend, only to find she has moved on. He lives an aimless existence by the coast until events force him to face his past and reclaim his life. 

Tim, 46, is at pains to point out that this is not his personal story – at least, not to the letter. “People often assume it is, because I’m an American teacher, in Cornwall,” he says. “And I did come to Cornwall because of a woman, but I’ve been happily married for 18 years now and have two wonderful kids, so I had the fairytale ending.  

“But you often write from what you know. For me, the film is an exploration of what ifs? What if I’d made a different decision here, or there?” 

And, without giving away too many spoilers, while Max ostensibly comes here for a woman, more importantly, he’s also running away from something else. “The fact his relationship falls through simply means he no longer has a distraction – he has to face up to things.”  

Tim describes his influences as the directors of 90s US indie cinema: Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, Gus van Sant. “It’s stripped down, lo-fi, hand-held cinema with long takes,” he explains. The musical score is minimal: “I don’t like telling the audience how to feel via a soundtrack - I love silence.”  

Budget constraints also determined when and where the film was shot. Tim lives in Newquay, and familiar film locations include Whiskers bar, the Mermaid pub and Porth beach, while Max’s flat is above Whipsiderry Cliff. Launceston College, meanwhile, stood in for the Healey Academy where Max teaches.  

The entire shoot took place over just 11 days, thanks to months of pre-planning. “We filmed quickly, guerrilla-style, often with two cameras at once, in a couple of takes at most and in natural light to avoid having to use lighting.”  

Tim pays tribute to his partner in Kernowfornia Films, editor and producer Ben Fullman. 

“He did a phenomenal job – he made it possible for me to go in and be creative,” he says.  

Tim, Ben, actors and other crew members are now going over to Monaco for the show. 

“It’s a bit surreal. I will have to hire a tuxedo, lose my introverted tendencies, and be a face for a film,” laughs Tim. 

“It’s a bit of an emotional end. 

“I’ve done my job – I’ve written a film and made it, and it’s going to get shown. After that, it’s out of my hands.”