During her junior year of high school, alumna Sofia Silva (’19) decided she wanted to pursue film and study it in a Christian environment. When she arrived at Biola to study Cinema and Media Arts, her goal was to be a director, but she fell in love instead with production management and found herself gravitating more toward the production side of filmmaking.

However, God also put another desire in her heart. 

“I actually wanted to be an attorney since I was in middle school,” said Silva. “But when God put it on my heart to pursue film, I pushed law school aside.” 

It wasn’t until she took Biola professor of journalism Stewart Oleson’s Media Law class her sophomore year that Silva realized she could still pursue law even though she was majoring in film production. Now, she is finishing up her first year as a JD candidate at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law. 

“Whenever I have taken personality tests to see if I’m right brained or left brained, I would get 50/50, so learning that I could use creativity and logic together in entertainment law was an eye opener for me,” said Silva.

Silva was recently awarded the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a leadership training program hosted by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian non-profit that fights for religious freedom and First Amendment rights. During this summer, Silva will go to Virginia to train with Christian attorneys from across the country, followed by an internship with a Blackstone alumnus. Her work will involve assisting in the drafting of contracts, writing legal briefs for appellate courts and helping represent churches in California. 

“My end goal is to be a producer. With my film production background and my law degree, I hope to be an asset to the film community,” said Silva.

Silva’s favorite project as a film student at Biola was her senior thesis, “The First Dance,” based on the story of how Silva’s grandparents met in Mexico. It was filmed in Spanish. 

“I could not believe that people wanted to help make my simple story come to life,” she shared. “The crew was unbelievable. They were mostly freshman and sophomores who had never been on a set. I would never change that. They were all the most hardworking and fun people I have ever worked with. Having that history saved for my family has been an amazing gift.”

Silva considers her time studying film at Biola as a valuable training ground for her future work. 

“CMA [Cinema and Media Arts] absolutely prepared me for law school and my future career,” she said. “That may sound strange but it is so true. Every day that I’m in class we are told to come up with every possible outcome for a case. Because of my film background I can imagine the different scenarios and put myself in the shoes of the individual and imagine what will come next.”

Learn more about Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts and apply now. 


Written by Nate Bell. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, assistant director of strategic communications and media relations, at jenna.loumagne@biola.edu.