Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis, based on the 1985 novel by Carl Sagan. Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the story outline for the film. It stars Jodie Foster as Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen to make first contact. It also stars Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe, Jake Busey, and David Morse. It features 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. She was inspired to pursue a career in science, starting with amateur radio, by her father, who died in her youth. Her work involves listening to radio emissions from space in the hopes of finding signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life. The program loses funding after David Drumlin, the President's science advisor, deems it futile. However, Arroway receives financial support from S.R. Hadden, the secretive billionaire industrialist who runs Hadden Industries, which enables her to keep working at the Very Large Array in New Mexico.