For the seventh consecutive year, Variety Magazine, a top industry publication, named Biola University’s Snyder School of Cinema & Media Arts as a top film school in North America. Biola is one of 30 schools recognized in the publication’s Entertainment Education Impact Report — “2024’s Top Film Schools in North America.” 

Schools selected for the list are described as offering “an impressive array of educators, facilities and lessons to be learned. Countless alumni from these programs have become legendary names in the industry. They have created award-winning films and television series, enacted change both on-screen and behind-the-scenes, and often give back to the institutions that fostered their talent.” 

The Snyder School of Cinema & Media Arts boasts the elements necessary to fit into each of these criteria. 

“Biola’s Snyder School of Cinema & Media Arts offers students not only the technical skills to forge a successful career but also qualities such as teamwork, reliability and follow-through,” said Founding Dean of Biola’s Snyder School of Cinema & Media Arts and former AMC Networks Executive Vice President of Programming Strategy, Tom Halleen. “After 30 years inside the entertainment business, I realized that professionalism isn't just about being great at a skill, it's also about demonstrating great character, which is why we focus on developing students’ excellence in craft and character. We want to send the best of both into this industry.”

Variety highlights Biola’s high-end equipment and instruction that students need to create films, including the new studio facility to be completed in 2026, which will expand Biola’s existing production facilities. Biola will break ground on the new building on September 6, 2024 with special guest Lynsi Snyder, owner of In-N-Out and granddaughter of Esther L. Snyder, whom the school is named for. The three-floor, 45,463-square-foot building will rival some of the best educational facilities in the nation for media training — serving the needs of students as they prepare for careers in the film, television and gaming industries.

“The building has been envisioned to accommodate the incredible rate of growth that we have,” said Halleen.

The report explains the vision behind the new building, which is being designed to house the full production workflow: ideation to pre-production, production and post-production all the way through to the final presentation in the new state-of-the-art theater.

The Snyder school is also working in partnership with a “recently announced AI lab within our Crowell School of Business,” said Halleen.

With the assistance of an in-house career team, internships are prioritized with 100 percent of students securing one or more during their time at Biola University. Internships have been at Disney, Sony, PBS, Marvel Animation, DreamWorks Animation, the Television Academy Foundation, The Chosen, among many others. Students participate in more than 500 independent productions every school year.

Biola Cinema and Media Arts alumnus and social media mogul and filmmaker Zach King (’12) is delivering the Spring 2024 commencement address at Biola on May 3 and 4. King is known for the “magical” content he creates using creative film editing and optical illusions.

Prominent Biola alumni working in the film industry not only include King, but also writer/producer/director Scott Derrickson (’90, “Doctor Strange,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still”), producer John Mabry (’03, “Blue Bloods”), visual effects artist Garret Wycoff (’11, “Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), and sound editor Angela Ang (’12, “Tenet,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”). Alumnus Rob Bredow (’94, (SVP, Creative Innovation for Lucasfilm and Chief Creative Officer of ILM) was nominated for an academy award for his work in producing “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” and others. This year, two film alumni recently released a feature film about faith and redemption. Another alumnus worked on editing the Super Mario Brothers film last year.

At Biola University’s Snyder School of Cinema & Media Arts, students receive the technical training, mentorship and hands-on experience they will need to succeed in the entertainment industry as well as receive the support and education they need to broaden their horizons and grow as a storyteller.

Along with this accolade, Biola has been ranked and commended by publications such as The Hollywood Reporter and TheWrap.

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

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