Actor Sean Astin from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Rudy to Speak at Biola Media Conference

Mar. 31, 2011 By Jenna Bartlo

STUDIO CITY, CALIF. — The Biola Media Conference is proud to announce actor, producer, director, Sean Astin, as the closing speaker on Sat., April 30th at the CBS Studio Center lot. Astin will join the lineup of talented speakers at the conference which exists to educate, inspire, and network media professionals.

Having performed in more than 70 films in the past 25 years, Astin was immortalized as “Mikey” in the 1980’s classic, The Goonies, inspired audiences as the working class dreamer in Rudy, and will forever be remembered as the brave and loyal Samwise Gamgee in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

"Being around Sean Astin causes you to see the possible in the impossible,” said Ned Lott, producing partner with Sean Astin. “As he was as Samwise Gamgee and “Rudy” is the way he lives in real life — strong will, faith, passion and integrity to accomplish his goals and dreams."

Astin’s roles behind the camera have earned him recognition as director and producer on the Academy Award Nominated live action short film, Kangaroo Court. His acting roles have found substantial audiences in films such as: 50 First Dates, Click, Memphis Belle, Courage Under Fire, and Encino Man – with television appearances that have included: 24, Law & Order, My Name Is Earl and Monk.

Astin joins keynote speaker, Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine, along with an all-star lineup, who will offer their expertise from the trenches and forecast their vision for future opportunities in film, television and digital media, for the 2011 Biola Media Conference that includes:

  • Tom Halleen — Senior Vice President, AMC
  • DeVon Franklin — Vice President of Production, Columbia Pictures
  • Tim Naylor — Visual FX Technical Director, “Transformers,” “ Pirates of the Caribbean”
  • Bill Marsilli — Screenwriter for the Jerry Bruckheimer film, “Déjà Vu”
  • Scott Smith — Visual Effects, Industrial, Light and Magic
  • Lisa Blum — Talent manager and producer, “Scary Movie”
  • Bobette Buster — World-renowned Story and Hollywood Economics lecturer
  • Bobby Downes — Producer, “Like Dandelion Dust” starring Mira Sorvino
  • Thomas Ethan Harris — Co-Founder of the LA Film Festival, film festival strategist
  • Susana Zepeda — Production executive, building film & TV slates for major studios
  • Arthur Anderson — Co-producer, “Mission Impossible III,” “Pacheck,” 1st AD, “Face-Off”
  • Dan Rupple — Former supervising producer for “The Late Show,” “Price is Right”
  • Matt Meeks — Social media strategist for the entertainment industries
  • Bob Kuns and Charlie Matz — The Veracity Project, Church Media specialists
  • Adam Collis — Founder, Director’s Perspective Acting Studio; director, Fox “Sunset Strip”
  • Travis Mann — Entertainment law, Business Affairs, Infinity Media
  • Phil Cooke — BMC host and founder of Cooke Pictures

BMC 2011 Theme - BEYOND DIGITAL: What Matters Now

The entertainment and media industries can agree on one thing: Disruption has become the “new normal.” As a result, at this year’s Biola Media Conference, we’re focused on priorities for the future and defining “success” in the new entertainment economy. The world has gone digital, but in that world, what matters now?

Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @BiolaMediaConf.

For more information or to register online, visit $150 General Admission through April 24th; and $180 at the door. Lunch and coffee bar provided. Limited press passes available upon request. Call 562-777-4061 for press pass information.

About Biola Media Conference:

In its 16th 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. BMC 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.

Biola University:

Biola University’s Cinema and Media Arts department continues to produce award-winning filmmakers such as Scott Derrickson, director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Biola is a private university located in Southern California on the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties in the city of La Mirada. U.S. News & World Report recognizes Biola as a “National University.” With over 145 academic programs in six schools, Biola offers degrees ranging from B.A. to Ph.D. For more information, visit or call (562) 777 – 4061.

Press Contact

Media Relations
Biola University
(562) 777-4061

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