Raymond Ferris Abelin

Keynote speaker

Raymond Ferris Abelin is a writer, director and educator, sponsored into the DGA by Richard Donner.  Initially awarded degrees in production and professional writing from both UCLA and USC film schools, he also attended Beverly Hills High School, growing up in a region and global industry that has undergone radical change.


He was eventually compelled to address new digital media technologies at Harvard, MIT and Colorado, and the business of expanding digital media industries at Cambridge.  However, he was most privileged when Arthur Hiller asked him to serve on the first DGA Creative Rights Negotiating Committee.  This committee was integral to resolving the only strike in the DGA’s history, then leading the way to landmark Congressional legislation addressing creative rights.

Prevailing attributes of business tend to control creative decision-making, despite increased access to the evolving technologies used in production. Raymond Ferris Abelin’s comprehensive experience mirrors our expanding industry, which is connecting the arts, sciences, business, education and, of course, entertainment. He continues to champion individual creativity, which fundamentally defines the entrepreneurial business and technological innovation characteristics associated with new, wide-ranging creative enterprises, from small to large project and product development. His direction is towards original thinking, creative expression and conscientious business practices that foster an individual’s intellectual property, enabling the consequential stories that need to be told, through the harnessing of new technologies that offer collective value, the common good.

Associated with Hollywood’s entertainment industry, Dr. Raymond Ferris Abelin was appointed by Arthur Hiller, past President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to forward large-scale industry interests as guild negotiator for the Directors Guild of America’s landmark Creative Rights Negotiating Committee. His approach to entrepreneurial business as creative enterprise includes advancing international linkages between design, computer science and digital media. In the UK, he was a principal in the development of Cambridge University’s first distance learning initiative. While affiliated with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Dr. Abelin developed what became one of the premier international centers for entrepreneurial business and technological innovation, leading to the first international Kauffman Campus outside of the United States. Dr. Abelin was later appointed to Sungkyunkwan University’s Business School in South Korea, working with international students from over thirty countries, as well as executives from Samsung and Hyundai. He is the founder of New Media, LLC in Boulder, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico, a high-end digital media production company. Dr. Abelin’s degrees include the Ph.D. from the University of Colorado; the MBA from Cambridge University, Judge Business School; the Master of Design Studies from Harvard University; the Master of Arts from USC School of Cinema Arts and the Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from UCLA. He is a graduate of Beverly Hills High School.