Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the story outline for the film. Jodie Foster portrays the film's protagonist, Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen to make first contact. The film also stars Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe, Jake Busey and David Morse. The film prominently features a number of sites dedicated to space research and exploration, namely the Very Large Array in New Mexico, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the Mir space station, and the Space Coast surrounding Cape Canaveral.
Dr. Ellie Arroway works for the SETI program at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Guided into science and communication by her now-deceased father, she listens to radio emissions from space, hoping to find evidence of alien life. David Drumlin, the president's science advisor, pulls the funding from SETI, because he believes that the endeavor is futile. Arroway gains backing from Hadden Industries, run by secretive billionaire industrialist S.R. Hadden, which allows her to continue the project at the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico.