The only tie-in to the Columbia Pictures film starring Sean Connery, directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting)an inspiring story about the unlikely friendship between a famous, reclusive novelist and an amazingly gifted teen who secretly yearns ...
yearns to be a writer. Set in Manhattan and the South Bronx, William Forrester (Connery), a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who has not been heard from for four decades, accidentally discovers that Jamal, a brash 16-year-old African-American who plays basketball on the court below his window, keeps a secret journal that shows a real gift for writing. Forrester takes Jamal on as a protégé, and the friendship challenges and changes the two of them forever. Written by an accomplished novelist, based on an award-winning screenplay, this story yearns to be a novel as well as a movie. The inspiration came from an interview conducted by the screenwriter, former radio news director Mike Rich: "I was doing an interview with someone about America's greatest authors, and I noticed that so many of them, Salinger or Pynchon, for example, seemed to be eccentric, reclusive types. I thought a story that showed how someone helped a great writer break through that barrier of isolation and re-enter the world would make a terrific story, especially if that person were a teenager who is also in some way gifted." Rich's screenplay became one of five finalists out of 4,500 entries to win the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl writing award for new screenwriters. Other actors in Finding Forrester include F. Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin, Busta Phymes, Zane Copeland, James "Fly" Williams III, Michael Nouri, and, in his first acting role, Rob Brown, a 15-year-old student at Poly Prep High School in Brooklyn, New York.