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Richard Robbins

Film Director

Richard E. Robbins is an award-winning writer, director, and producer whose work includes both fiction and non-fiction. His work has been honored by the International Documentary Association, the Directors Guild, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Columbia DuPont Awards, and many others. He is a founding partner of The Documentary Group.


He produced and directed the acclaimed film Girl Rising. The film made headlines around the world in 2013 for both its innovative storytelling and its vital subject – the power of educating girls. Part fiction and part documentary, the film not only screened in hundreds of theaters around the country but at the World Bank, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the White House. Filmed in nine countries over several years, the film tells the stories of nine unforgettable girls struggling for an education. It features voice work from Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez, Liam Neeson, Chloe Moretz, Alicia Keys, and Freida Pinto.

Richard’s first theatrically released film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience received broad critical acclaim and numerous awards including a nomination for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category in 2008. The Orlando Sentinel called it “the best documentary to come out of the Iraq War.”

Richard spent his early career at ABC News and PBS’ Frontline. He began directing his own projects in Peter Jennings’ documentary unit at ABC News. His first collaboration with Jennings was on the critically acclaimed ABC series The Century. His subsequent projects at ABC took him around the country and the globe. From the mountains of Kashmir interviewing Al Qaeda militants, to the press plane of the 2000 Bush campaign, to the back of an LAPD squad car patrolling Watts. In the fall of 2001 and 2002, he spent time in Pakistan and Afghanistan covering the war for World News Tonight and Nightline. He left ABC in 2004 to help found Peter Jennings Productions, renamed the Documentary Group following Mr. Jennings’ death.

More recently Richard has branched out into scripted projects. In 2009 he wrote an original drama Inside the Box, for which ABC Television produced a one hour pilot. He also served as executive producer on the project along with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. Since then has written for the critically acclaimed AMC series Rubicon, and ABC’s drama Scandal.

A graduate of Harvard College, he lives with his wife and children in Los Angeles.After spending his early career at ABC News and PBS’ Frontline, Richard began directing his own projects in Peter Jennings’ documentary unit at ABC News. His first collaboration with Jennings was on the critically acclaimed ABC series The Century. His subsequent projects at ABC took him around the country and the globe. From the mountains of Kashmir interviewing Al Qaeda militants, to the press plane of the 2000 Bush campaign, to the back of an LAPD squad car patrolling Watts. In the fall of 2001 and 2002, he spent time in Pakistan and Afghanistan covering the war for World News Tonight and Nightline. Robbins left ABC in 2004 to help found Peter Jennings Productions, renamed the Documentary Group following Mr. Jennings’ death.

Richard’s first theatrically released documentary Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience received broad critical acclaim and numerous awards including a nomination for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category in 2008. The Orlando Sentinel called it “the best documentary to come out of the Iraq War.”

More recently Richard has branched out into scripted projects. In 2009 he wrote an original drama Inside the Box, for which ABC Television produced a one hour pilot. He also served as executive producer on the project along with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. Since then he wrote for the critically acclaimed AMC series Rubicon, and ABC’s drama Scandal.

In addition to his work on Scandal, Richard is developing both a scripted drama at ABC Studios, and directing a new documentary feature. A graduate of Harvard College, he lives with his wife and children in Los Angeles.