Biola’s Cinema and Media Arts Program Produces First Feature Length Film

Apr. 10, 2014 By Camryn Hudson

LA MIRADA, CALIF. — The first feature length film from Biola University’s Cinema and Media Arts (CMA) department — “Cicada” — will screen on April 10, 2014.


Cicada is one of three Japan film projects that CMA has done in the past six years. The two short films prior to Cicada, Jitensha and Persimmon, have won several awards at film festivals including the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts 2010 and Newport Beach Film Festival 2010.


"The Cinema and Media Arts Department is forging new ground by producing our first feature film, Cicada, under the direction of Dean Yamada,” said Michael Gonzales, chair of Biola CMA.


Led by director and CMA professor, Dean Yamada, the film crew consisted of 12 Biola students and a Japanese crew from Switch Inc. based in Tokyo. In the summer of 2012, the team spent 20 days filming in Tokyo. With more than a year of post-production work, the film is finally ready to be unveiled.


“It lays the foundation for much more growth and many more feature length films to come in the future,” said script supervisor and Biola senior, Erika Pontius. “It's a huge testament to how far CMA has come in just the past decade and it shows prospective students, and prospective employers of alumni, the caliber at which Biola film students are educated and trained.”


Cicada is an endearing story of a man who discovers his infertility which causes him to seek meaning in life. He assumes a father-figure role in his nephew’s life while his sister and her alcoholic husband struggle as their son struggles with bullying at school. The story explores the themes of relationships, hardships and life.


The screening will be at 7:30 p.m. in Sutherland Auditorium and will be followed by a Q&A with the director and filmmakers.  


For years Biola's Cinema and Media Arts program has been equipping students to serve as observers, interpreters, creators and patrons of mass media. CMA does this by offering students a grounding in the theory, research and practices of mass communication, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The location in Southern California allows access to media industry professionals working in Hollywood, securing noted speakers, internships and additional resources.



For additional information about Cicada, please visit the website. For inquiries on the screening and tickets, please visit the Cicada event page.

For press passes email Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist, at



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