2024 Speaker

Nicholas "Nicky" Pope is a filmmaker originating from Southern California who now calls West Tennessee home. As the son of a former NFL football player, Nicky envisioned his life panning out in the same way. He earned a scholarship to continue to pursue his professional football dreams at the illustrious Tuskegee University located in Tuskegee, Alabama. After graduation, he sought out to switch reels in life after moving on from his NFL aspirations but was challenged like many others with what would he do. Deferring to go into teaching due to obtaining his BA in English, he reflected on his time in college and explored what did he leave college with that he actually enjoyed and made him happy. It was his film theory class in his senior year that fascinated him and sparked a real interest in telling stories, what it takes to make a film and what he would call the "spiritual element" that draws viewers to the screen and touches them at their core. Growing up in Los Angeles with Hollywood in the backdrop, it was easy to be coerced by the studio structure and want to be a part of the mainstream. Nicky realized it was not the route he wanted to pursue after enrolling into Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. After leaving LMUSFTV, he now works to tell more personal stories that connect to his family and the community that surrounds him. His current work involves exploring the life of his grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, what motivates her daily and what is it like for his mother to now be the mother figure in their relationship taking on a full caretaker role.