&nbsp(Studio City, CA) — DeVon Franklin, VP of Production at Columbia/Sony Pictures will be a featured keynote speaker at the 17th&nbspannual&nbspBiola Media Conference&nbspto be held at the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City, CA on May 5, 2012. &nbsp&nbsp&nbspFranklin will be joined by an impressive list of Hollywood heavyweights covering all aspects of the film, television and digital media industries. Additional featured guests and workshops will be announced in the coming weeks.

The theme of the conference is FINDING YOUR CREATIVE BREAKTHROUGHS, and will feature an in-depth look at how to effectively explore creativity and excellence in your art form.&nbsp The conference addresses the need and desire of media professionals to take a concept from ideation to creation and how to make that breakthrough happen.&nbsp As in years past, the conference will deliver a first-hand experience where attendees can get unprecedented access to some of the top leaders in Hollywood, who happen to also be people of faith.

&ldquoIf you want to know about media and you want to stay current and keep your finger on the pulse of what&rsquos going on, then Biola Media Conference is the only place to be,&rdquo said Franklin. &ldquoI can&rsquot think of another place that you could find yourself staying up with media, if you&rsquore serious about learning from a Christian perspective.&rdquo

Keynote Speakers for the 2012 conference include:

DeVon Franklin, Vice President of Production at Columbia Pictures/Sony and author of the new book, &ldquoProduced By Faith.&rdquo&nbsp Franklin has helped to oversee such hits as:&nbspTHE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS&nbspand&nbspHANCOCK, both of which starred Will Smith and saw enormous worldwide success&nbsp21, starring Kevin Spacey&nbspTHE PINK PANTHER, starring Steve Martin and&nbspTHE UGLY TRUTH&nbspwith Katherine Heigl, among many others.

Simon Swart&nbspis Executive Vice President and General Manager of North America, Fox Home Entertainment Retail Operations. &nbspBefore joining Fox in 1997, Swart worked at Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Warner Home Entertainment. Under his leadership, Fox has set sales records by making fundamental changes in its sales methodology, and has developed new distribution models including Fox Faith.

Gavin O&rsquoConnor&nbspis a film director, screenwriter, playwright and producer. After executive producing several independent projects, O&rsquoConnor gained recognition for his 2004 film&nbspMIRACLE, based on the U.S. hockey team&rsquos victory in the 1980 Winter Olympics, which he directed for Walt Disney Pictures.&nbsp His 20-year career has most recently included directing and writing the acclaimed 2011 release&nbspWARRIOR, which garnered Nick Nolte a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy Awards.

Marc Forster, after attending New York University, directed several acclaimed films and won the &ldquoSomeone to Watch&rdquo honor at the 2000 Independent Spirit Awards. This award was followed up quickly with&nbspMONSTER&rsquoS BALL&nbsp(2001), the racially fueled, award-winning drama starring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry.&nbsp Throughout his career, Forster has become a directorial favorite with his films including&nbspFINDING NEVERLAND, STRANGER THAN FICTION, THE KITE RUNNER&nbspand the James Bond favorite&nbspQUANTUM OF SOLACE.&nbsp Forster has received seven Oscar nominations (winning for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score) and five Golden Globe nominations.

C. McNair Wilson&nbspis a leading voice for creativity in all facets of life. He is the C.E.O. of AssumeBrillianceGroup, which has a client list that includes Apple, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Government Management Training Center, and Johns-Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory.&nbsp&nbsp McNair believes that everyone has a creative spirit, though some are more actively creative. He draws on his professional experience in theme park design, theatre, graphic design, cartooning and illustration, creative writing, and entertainment design. He is a published author of four books including his most recently published: &ldquoHATCH! Brainstorming Secrets of a Theme Park Designer&rdquo and &ldquoRAISED IN CAPTIVITY, A Memoir of a Life Long Churchaholic.&rdquo

Stan Williams&nbspis author of &quotTHE MORAL PREMISE: Harnessing Virtue and Vice for Box Office Success&quot released in 2006 by Hollywood publisher Michael Wiese Productions. Because of this book he is frequently asked to consult on major motion picture projects, most notably since 2008 he has worked with Will Smith as a story and script consultant on various motion picture projects.

The Biola Media Conference attracts more than 600 industry attendees &ndash making it the largest national event for people of faith working in the entertainment industry.&nbsp It is known for its intimate and practical conversations with Hollywood leaders, and professional training and instruction from some of the most influential individuals in Film, TV, PR, Media Marketing, Management and Digital Media. Conference topics cover every aspect of media related careers, technologies, and ministries from the creative, to the financial, to the production process.

The Biola Media Conference is produced and sponsored by Biola University&rsquos acclaimed Cinema and Media Arts Department. The event is also a member of the FrontGate Media group, the #1 culture-engaged media group in Christendom. Sponsorship opportunities are available at&nbsphttp://tinyurl.com/FrontGateBMC.&nbsp Admission is $150 before April 26 and $180 at the door.&nbsp Lunch and coffee bar are provided. &nbspFor more information or to register online, visit&nbspwww.BiolaMedia.com.

About Biola Media Conference:

In its 17th year, the Biola Media Conference exists to educate, inspire, and network media professionals while providing creative inspiration into the spiritual nature of any career in the media industry. The conference 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, insight, and contacts that strengthen their character and their careers.

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For more information on Biola Media Conference, please contact:

Lori Lenz &ndash FrontGate Media

Biola University, named one of 17&nbsp&ldquoup and coming&rdquo&nbspnational universities by U.S. News &amp World Report in 2011, is a private Christian university located in Southern California. For more than 100 years, Biola has remained committed to its mission of biblically centered education, integrating biblical principles with every academic program. With a current record-high enrollment of 6,250 students, the university&rsquos six schools offer 145 academic programs, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. For more information, visit&nbspwww.biola.edu.