'Sparkle’ Producer, DeVon Franklin, Receives Biola Media Award

VP of Columbia Pictures honored at annual Biola Media Conference

May. 10, 2012 By Jenna Bartlo

Producer, author, writer and filmmaker, DeVon Franklin, was awarded the Biola Media Award — an award honoring Christian individuals who reflect leadership in uniting vision, passion and redemption in the media industry — at the 17th annual Biola Media Conference on Sat., May 5, 2012. Franklin, most recently noted for his role as producer of Whitney Houston’s last movie, “Sparkle,” encapsulates the value of the award.

“I feel like I’m still very much in the middle of my journey so to get an award like this is very humbling,” said Franklin. “I feel like it’s more like a down payment on what is going to happen moreso than an acknowledgement of what has happened. So I’m very humbled and it makes me even more determined and purposeful about continuing to become what God wants me to be in this industry, hopefully which is a light to shine in a place that can sometimes be very dark.”

As a rarity in the film industry, Franklin is an African-American studio executive at the forefront of Hollywood’s hit machine. He currently serves as vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, making him one of the youngest individuals in that position in the industry, where he recently oversaw the remake of the summer blockbuster, “The Karate Kid,” starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, which grossed over $350 million worldwide. He also worked on “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Hancock” both starring Will Smith, among many other major hit films.

Last year, Franklin released the book, “Produced by Faith,” which parallels each step of the Hollywood filmmaking process with the faith-making process God uses to turn your career into a success.

Franklin was also this year’s conference keynote speaker. He has been involved with the conference for a number of years.

“The conference has been incredible,” said Franklin. “What I love about it is it brings such a diverse group of people together and believers together who are passionate about media and entertainment. It’s truly one of the premiere conferences of its kind in the world, not just the country, so I’m just thankful to be a part of it.”

The Biola Media Award is given based on career roles — not solely on individual projects — so that continuity of character is recognized as they express their role through various projects. Honorees can range from cinema to new media, highlighting directors, producers and innovators who have made a significant impact on culture and their creative community through their Christ-like character and dedication to craft. Last year’s recipient was CBS Studio Center President Michael Klausman.

Read Christian Post’s article “Movie Producer DeVon Franklin: Hollywood Paying Attention to Faith-Based Audience.”

Watch DeVon Franklin accept the award at the Biola Media Conference:

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator. For more information, Jenna can be reached at 562.777.4061 or at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.



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