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Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film directed and written by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban and Cary Guffey. Close Encounters tells the story of Roy Neary, an Indiana electrical lineman, and his encounter and obsessions with unidentified flying objects. The plot further develops due to the presence of the United States government and their scientific researchers.
Close Encounters was a long-cherished project for Spielberg. In late-1973, he developed a deal with Columbia Pictures for a science fiction film. Paul Schrader, John Hill, David Giler, Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins and Jerry Belson contributed with script writing work, alongside Spielberg. In the end Spielberg was given solo writing credit.
Filming began in May 1976, where problems occurred such as the film's production budget, tropical cyclones and the shooting schedule. Douglas Trumbull served as the visual effects supervisor, while Carlo Rambaldi designed the aliens. Close Encounters was released with financial and critical success. The film was reissued in 1980 as Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Special Edition. The film received numerous awards and nominations at the 50th Academy Awards, 32nd British Academy Film Awards, the Saturn Awards and has been widely acclaimed by the American Film Institute. Close Encounters has also led to the development of the unproduced film Night Skies.