Christian Media Conference to Help Filmmakers 'Close the Deal'

The screenwriter for "Basic Instinct" and a producer for the upcoming movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" will be among the keynote speakers at this year's faith-based Biola Media Conference in Studio City, Calif.

Returning to CBS Studio Center today, the one-day gathering will continue its 14 year tradition of gathering leading experts to help attendees navigate the challenging world of film, TV and digital media around this year's theme of "Closing the Deal." The Biola Media Conference is touted as the largest and most influential for industry professionals of faith in the entertainment field today.

"With today's economy, there is no more relevant topic to examine than our best opportunities for 'closing the deal' on current projects", said Arthur Anderson, co-producer on films such as "Mission Impossible 3," "Windtalkers" and "Paycheck." "We come together to network ideas in a highly creative environment."

Aside from "Basic Instinct" writer-turned-Christian Joe Eszterhas and "X-Men" producer Ralph Winter, keynote speakers this year include Terry Botwick, producer and CEO of 1019 Entertainment; writer and comedienne Terry Botwick; and director and author Phil Cooke.

Kicking off the 14th annual conference will be Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group.

According to organizers of the conference, this year's workshops will tackle diverse aspects of how attendees can land themselves and their projects past the finish line. Workshop topics include "Innovative Film Financing," "Ambition vs. Ethics," "Legal Aspects Of Deal-Making," "How To Package and Sell To Hollywood," and "Webisodes: Springboard To The Big Screen."

The Biola Media Conference will close out the day with a very rare public appearance and Q & A Keynote Session with Joe Eszterhas, who will talk about how his new-found-faith has affected his outlook and career.

"The Biola Media Conference at CBS Studios is the largest event in the country for people of faith working in the entertainment industry. It's become a catalyst for connecting people and projects," commented Kathleen Cooke, co-director of the Biola Media Conference.

"Redemptive films like The Chronicles of Narnia have been birthed out of relationships made at this conference," she added.

Jack Hafer, chair of the internationally acclaimed Cinema and Media Arts program at Biola University, meanwhile, called the conference "an opportunity like no other."

"It's a chance to discover concrete direction for your career and put you in the touch with the people and resources anyone serious about a career in entertainment or media needs to know," he said.

The Biola Media Conference, which starts at 9 a.m. PT and ends at 6 p.m. PT, is sponsored by Biola University, a nationally ranked private evangelical Christian university located in Southern California.

Notable Biola alumni include Charles E. Fuller, founder of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.; John F. MacArthur, president of The Master's College and The Master's Seminary; Josh McDowell, founder of Josh McDowell Ministry; Scott Derrickson, film director for "The Day the Earth Stood Still;" Ben Homan, president of Food for the Hungry; and David Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group.