Scholar Class 2012
Nicole Opper grew up in San Diego and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studied documentary film. After helping to produce several independent documentaries for PBS, she directed and produced the feature-length film, Off and Running, about a teenage African American adoptee being raised by white Jewish lesbians, or in the words of Rosie O’Donnell, "An amazing story about adoption, families, love and perseverance... beautiful, honest and inspiring." The film was an Audience Favorite at the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to receive nine int’l festival awards including Best Documentary at Outfest and the Writers Guild of America Award at Silverdocs. It opened in theaters around the country and aired nationally on the PBS series POV. It was nominated for a national Emmy in 2010 and earned her a spot in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual 25 New Faces of Independent Film.
Following Off and Running, Nicole was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Puebla, Mexico, where she shot her second feature documentary, Todos Son Mis Hermanos, about formerly homeless youth growing up in a unique learning environment. This film, which is supported by New York State Council on the Arts and The Independent Television Service, is being completed now. Other producing credits include the Emmy-nominated The Killer Within, (Toronto Int’l Film Festival 2006, Discovery Channel) and Sacco and Vanzetti (Full Frame 2006, Winner “Best Historical Film” American Historical Association). She has served on numerous film festival juries and funding panels, and has lectured at various institutions including San Francisco State University, where she is currently an NBCUniversal Point scholar. As a graduate student Nicole’s goal is to prepare to teach undergraduate film students so that she may share her passion while continuing to make her own films about our diverse community..