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Billy Ray, Academy Award-nominated Screenwriter, Set To Speak At Orientation

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) will be the guest speaker and honoree during the first day of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s two-day Orientation, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, welcoming students to a new academic year.

“We are thrilled to welcome Billy Ray back to campus as our special guest speaker and honoree at Orientation,” says UCLA TFT Interim Dean Brian Kite. “He cares deeply about the state of our society, and his ability to synthesize real-life current events into top-notch dramas such as The Comey Rule and Captain Phillips highlights how he is one of the best in the business. I know our students will find him to be both fascinating and enlightening.”

Ray, a 1985 UCLA graduate, wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Captain Phillips, for which he won a WGA Award in 2014. He also wrote, directed and executive-produced Showtime’s The Comey Rule, which had the biggest debut of any limited series in that network’s history. Ray’s films as writer, co-writer, or writer-director include The Hunger GamesRichard JewellShattered Glass and Breach. He serves on the boards of Common Defense and Big Sunday.

“I believe in storytelling. Learning how to do it gave me a career and a beautiful life,” Ray says. “I believe in hard work; without it, success is impossible. I believe in movies; they celebrate the human spirit, and they reflect our culture back to us; and I believe in UCLA. I was born a Bruin. That’s why I come back here so often, and that’s why I’m so grateful to be this year’s Orientation speaker.”