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Directed by Robert Zemeckis

United States 1997 149 mins. In English

Adapted from the Carl Sagan novel of the same name, Zemeckis’ film is a landmark in the big-budget Hollywood sci-fi realm for its in-depth focus on a female researcher and reluctant astronaut, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster in a career-best role), as well as its relentless insistence on asking broad questions about the nature of existence. Ellie, who has devoted her life to the search for extraterrestrial life, lives a lonely professional and personal life, but when a seemingly random transmission from the stars comes through—after years of waiting—she must directly face that which seemed impossible. An alternately terrifying, breathtaking, and technically-inventive look into one woman’s journey into the unknown, Contact “tells the smartest and most absorbing story about extraterrestrial intelligence since Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”—Roger Ebert.

Genres: Sci-Fi

Appears in: Wordstock: Film to Page



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.