For the second year in a row, Biola University’s School of Cinema and Media Arts has been recognized as one of the nation’s top film schools by entertainment news site, The Wrap. Biola is one of 50 schools on The Wrap’s Top 50 Film Schools list.

In spring of 2020, Executive Vice President at AMC Networks, Tom Halleen left his position at AMC to become Biola’s founding dean of its School of Cinema and Media Arts.

“Biola's School of Cinema & Media Arts is honored to once again be listed as a best in class film school,” said Halleen. “Located just a short drive from Hollywood, we pride ourselves in the integration of creative and technical training, industry access and a collaborative spirit which sets our students apart. Whether film, television, digital media or game design, we're more than just a film school. We not only teach the skills required by the industry, but we also teach collaboration and character for our students to stand out.”

The Wrap featured Biola for its commendable faculty to student ratio, industry connections and expert faculty.

“At the border of L.A. and Orange counties in La Mirada, Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts offers a B.A. that trains students in film production, screenwriting and media management ‘to tell stories that matter,’ spokesperson Jenna Loumagne said. Founding Dean Tom Halleen walked from his executive VP job at AMC Networks — where he helped launch ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ — to join the private evangelical Christian university. In the past few years, Biola’s joint has grown from a stand-alone major to a multi-program school, with plans for a new $76 million building underway. Grads include ‘Doctor Strange’ director Scott Derrickson, Scientific and Technical Achievement Oscar winner Brian Hall and social media star Zach King,” said The Wrap’s statement on Biola.

Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts is anticipating a brand-new $76 million building to become its new permanent home. The 50,000-plus square-foot facility will house a 300-seat theater, sound stage, scoring stage, motion capture stage, Foley stage, color correction, mixing, recording and editing rooms, computer labs, three classrooms and faculty and staff offices. A hallmark of Biola’s film school is the access students in the program have immediately upon entering Biola, which currently includes almost $4 million worth of state-of-the-art equipment.

Recently, an equipment annex was approved to be added to the master plan for the new building. The two-story CMA annex designed specifically for storing sets and equipment will be added to the north side of the current Production Center. It will include a mezzanine and equipment lift to maximize storage, and also include a loading dock for efficient pick up and return of equipment from location shoots.

Faculty teaching in the CMA school include industry experts and active filmmakers, producers and writers such as Abel Vang, Dean Yamada and John Schmidt. Most recently, screenwriter and comedian Jim Hope joined Biola’s film school faculty to teach Biola’s screenwriting courses.

For anyone interested in film, Southern California is the place to be. Biola, located approximately 25 miles from the entertainment capital of the world, puts students in close proximity to Hollywood, home to some of the world’s leading studios, networks and major production companies, where they will benefit from top-tier internship and mentorship opportunities. Biola students intern at places like Netflix, Disney, NBC, Warner Bros., Marvel Entertainment and more.

Recent Cinema and Media Arts alumni are making an impact across the entertainment industry. Read Biola Magazine’s recent feature article “30 to Watch (Literally)” and learn more about 30 recent graduates and their success in the industry.

The Wrap is not the only publication to notice Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts. In April, Biola made a fourth consecutive appearance on Variety’s list of the world’s top 50 film schools — one of just a few Christian universities to make the cut.

Get to know Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts founding dean in the Biola Magazine article, “More than a film school.” 

Biola’s B.A. in Cinema and Media Arts has 8 concentrations in production, editing, cinematography, sound design, visual effects & 3D animation, directing, entertainment business and entertainment producing. Apply and learn more about the School of Cinema and Media Arts.