Emmy-Nominated Filmmaker Joins SCU Communication Department
Director-producer Nicole Opper tackles social issues through film
An alumna of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and San Francisco State University, Opper is known for her work as director and producer for the feature documentary Off and Running follows the story of a young adoptee growing up in Brooklyn in a transracial family. The film was an “Audience Favorite” designee at the Tribeca Film Festival and a winner of ten international awards, including Best Documentary at Outfest and the WGA Award for Best Documentary Screenplay. The film also was broadcast nationally on PBS’ POV series in 2010, which landed the film a News & Documentary Emmy Award nomination in the Best Informational Programming (long form) category.
Following this success, Opper received a Fulbright Fellowship to direct Visitor's Day, a film about formerly homeless youth growing up in a group home in Mexico that produces and distributes artisanal cheese. The film received additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the respected nonprofit organization Chicken & Egg Pictures, and The Independent Television Service (ITVS). Visitor's Day will be broadcast on the WORLD Channel in October 2018 and stream live on the PBS app.
Throughout her career, Opper has produced several films and television series for The Discovery Channel and Here TV. She recently was featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film” article. Prior to joining SCU, she taught at Stanford University and San Francisco State University. She serves as the Creative Director of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) National MediaMaker Fellowship, which provides professional mentorship and industry access to first-time feature filmmakers.
Currently, Opper is directing the second season of a short-form documentary series called The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story, which will premiere this fall on SoulPancake in partnership with Participant Media. The series recently scored a “Breakthrough New Series--short form” nomination in the 28th IFP Gotham Awards.
Opper is “excited to begin teaching at SCU because of the university's emphasis on social justice, which is at the heart of all of my work as a filmmaker.” In addition, she notes that it is a “great privilege to be able to guide students as they discover and cultivate their own unique voices as storytellers, particularly when their art explores the complexities of representation, challenges the status quo, and fuels social change.”
At SCU, Opper will teach a variety of digital filmmaking courses and critical studies courses.