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12th Annual Biola Media Conference to Explore 'Mining for Opportunity in the New Hollywood'

Speaker Lineup Announced for April 21 Event


Contact: Mike Bower, Biola Media Conference, 714-943-1706, mike.bower@biola.edu


LA MIRADA, Calif., April 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- A distinguished lineup of industry leaders representing TV, film, radio, journalism, on-line media, and marketing, will headline the 12th Annual Biola Media Conference scheduled for Saturday, April 21, on the Biola University campus in La Mirada, California.


"Gold Rush:  Mining for Opportunity in the New Hollywood" will be the theme for the one-day conference which will cover media-related opportunities in film, television, emerging media, technology and ministry---from the creative to the financial and from marketing to the production processes.


"After decades of struggle in Hollywood, we realized we were in the 'deep end of the pool' following the success of The Passion of Christ," explains Craig Deweiler, screenwriter and co-author of "A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture."  "Last year we celebrated with hits like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and more," points out Detweiler, who will once again serve as host for the media conference.


"But now" adds Detweiler, "with studios actually opening "faith-based" distribution divisions, pursuing spiritually themed projects, and with pastors that top the bestseller lists on a regular basis, it's time to define who we are, and why we're here.


Phil Cooke, creative director for Cooke Pictures and a member of the Biola Media Conference strategy team, adds, "In our rush to cash in on Hollywood success stories, we must ask ourselves…have we hit the mother lode or discovered fool's gold?  Perhaps more importantly, are we becoming a subculture, the counter culture, or THE culture?"


The 2007 conference will examine Hollywood's embrace of faith-fueled films, unearthing pitfalls and potential in the resulting "gold rush."  Conference participants will learn from and interact with luminaries from film, television, radio, marketing and journalism.


Among this year's conference speakers are, Steve McEveety, producer of the Oscar Award winning Braveheart, We Were Soldiers and The Passion of the Christ and recipient of the 2007 Robert Briner Impact Award;  Jocelyn Diaz, director of drama development for ABC where she contributed to the development of such shows as Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy;  Sherry Shepherd, a co-starring actress on Everybody Loves Raymond, Less Than Perfect, The Jamie Fox Show, and Wedding Bells, with frequent appearances on The View and 30 Rock; Ralph Winter, producer of such Academy Award nominated films as Star Trek IV and VI, Planet of the Apes, X-Men, and Fantastic Four;  Mike Klausman, president of CBS Studio Center and Senior Vice President of West Coast Operations for CBS;  Simon Swart, vice president and general manager for Fox Home Entertainment;  Brian Bird, producer/screenwriter of The Last Sin Eater, founding partner of Believe Picture and former executive producer for TV's Touched by an Angel;  Dan Rupple, producer/writer and CEO of Seriously Funny Entertainment and Padded Room Productions, Dan formerly was a Supervising Producer for CBS Television and serves as an adjunct instructor at his alma mater, Biola University; Erwin McManus, lead pastor at Mosaic and author of The Barbarian Way and Soul Cravings; and Paul Lauer, founder of Motive Entertainment, where he designed and executed the highly-successful marketing campaigns for The Passion of the Christ, The Polar Express, and The Chronicles of Narnia.


Entertainment for the morning session will be provided by musician Caleb Quaye, a well-known musician and Elton John's guitarist for ten years. He also worked with such rock legends as Mick Jagger, Pete Townsend, and Paul McCartney. In 1982 Caleb's life was radically changed when he became a Christian and answered a call to the ministry as a musician/evangelist.  He now serves as the National Worship Director for the Foursquare denomination, ministering all over the United States, England and Europe. Caleb is pursuing a Masters degree in Intercultural Studies and Global Worship at Fuller Seminary.


Other featured conference speakers include:


Dean Batali, producer/writer whose credits include  Buffy the Vampire Slayer and That 70s Show.


Jim Krueger, creative director for Marvel Comics, he is recognized as one of the top ten award-winning freelance comic book writers and property creators in the business


Producer/Director Phil Cooke, PhD serves as creative director for Cooke Pictures, a founding partner in TWC Films and creator of the on-line blog, philcooke.com.


Mark Joseph, a multi-media producer, strategist, and author, has worked with Walden Media, developing and marketing films, including The Chronicles of Narnia and Ray.


George Temple, a 28 year-veteran of incorporating video and ministry, serves as president of Sermonspice.com, a leading provider of sermon illustration videos.


Jeffrey Overstreet is a film reviewer, columnist and author of the book, Through a Screen Darkly, which tackles the most controversial questions about Christian engagement with art.


Kim Dorr, partner in the talent agency Defining Artists and Entertainment pastor at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Hollywood.


Larry Frenzel, entertainment lawyer and producer and the co-founder of Carmel Entertainment Group.


Michael Davis, vice president UMI Media, and co-creator of the Emmy award-winning Static Shock WB and Cartoon Network show.  His latest creation is the faith-based Guardian Line from Urban Ministries.


Buzz Dixon, president and co-founder of RealBuzz Studios, he has over 130 animation credits in film and TV, including G.I. Joe: The Motion Picture, Batman, Transformers, Tiny Toons and the successful Serenity manga series.


Brett Burner, creator/publisher/writer for Lamp Post and pastor of Immanuel Church in La Mesa, CA, he has published dozens of titles into the commix and Christian retail markets.


Scott Shuford, CEO of FrontGate Media/FrontGate Creative, his firm connects companies across the nation with the Christian consumer.


Paul Crouch, Jr. serves as vice president for the global operations of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, where he has developed, built and managed media business for more than 30 years.


Van Partible is creator, director, and writer of Cartoon Network's Johnny Bravo.  Van also wrote and created Shorty McShorts and Amazon Women for the Hanna-Barbera Studios.


Christopher Lockhart, executive story editors at ICM, a leading talent and literary agency in Los Angeles.


Keith Mitchell, screenwriter for numerous feature films, including Like Mike II, Sandlot 3, Dr. Doolittle 3, Mr. 3000, and Mail to the Chief.


Brian Davidson, a staff writer on the hit TV show CSI: Miami, he previously wrote for Stan Lee Media, creator of Spiderman.


Matt Bronleewe, music producer for such artists as Jars of Clay, Natalie, Imbruglia, Rebecca St. James, Michael W. Smith, and Plumb.  Matt is currently authoring his new Adventure trilogy, Illuminated.


David Riley, branding and image development expert, has designed advertising and promotional materials for Disneyland, Universal, Westin, Joel Osteen, and Greg Laurie. David has built DRA into one of the premier design firms in the country.


Susana Zepeda, president Winter Road Entertainment and co-producer of the big-screen adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel, The Screwtape Letters.


Matt Atteberry is author of the bestseller, The Actor's Guide to LA, and was voted one of the top three headshot photographers in Hollywood.  Mark also acts and coaches in Hollywood.


The day will culminate with a private screening of the romantic drama Bella, winner of the Toronto Film Festival's top honor, the People's Choice Award.


"At the Biola Media Conference, the focus is on the real-life, practical issues of producing films and creating television and other media," explains Cooke  "From the perspectives of feature films, television, advertising, journalism, digital media, and more, we are exploring the deeper themes of who we are, what differences can we make in the culture, and how to "mine" our potential in the New Hollywood."


"Theoretical discussions are nice, but if you want to get your hands dirty and make a real difference, this is the place to be!" adds Cooke.


The 2007 Biola Media Conferences will feature more than 20 sessions in seven industry tracks.  For further information or registration, visit www.biolamedia.com, call (866) 334-2266 or email Peggy Rupple at bmc@biola.edu


For an up-to-date schedule of this year's speakers and workshop sessions, visit www.frontgatecreative.com/clients/Biola/biola_session2007.htm


In its 12th year, the Biola Media Conference exists to educate, inspire, and network people of faith working in the media while providing creative inspiration into the spiritual nature of any career in the media industry. Recognized as the premier event for Christians in the entertainment field, BMC attracts participants who will benefit from direct interaction with acclaimed industry pros who are at the top of their craft.  From CEOs to students, attendees secure valuable information, fellowship, and contacts that strengthen their personal walk and their careers.


Biola University is home to one of the most effective and successful Mass Communication undergraduate degree programs in the country.  Located just 30 miles from the entertainment capital of the world, Biola graduates have unprecedented access to industry professionals and opportunities for internships and training in their chosen field.  Their classrooms regularly feature guest appearances by the finest producers, reporters, and publicists in the business.  Biola grads complete their course of study fully-equipped to fulfill their goals and dreams in the world of media or in ministry, bringing an integrated standard of professionalism and Christian faith that is helping to change our world.