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HOLES

About The Film
Already hailed as a classic, Louis Sachar's novel, Holes, has been published in nearly 30 countries spanning North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and has received over 25 accolades, most notably the 1999 Newbery Medal for Best Children's and Young Adult Fiction, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, and the 1998 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. In a recent poll by Read magazine of the most popular books among children, Holes ranked #1 – beating even Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 

Sachar, the author of more than twenty books for children, attributes the phenomenal success of his book to its thought-provoking themes and humor. "I think it's a fun and uplifting story,” he comments. "It's an exciting adventure where the main character rises above his miserable situation, and not only survives, but thrives. I never set out to teach a lesson. My goal is always to write a fun, entertaining, and thought provoking story. Any messages, and I think there are many in this book, come naturally out of the story.” 

Sachar's other popular books include There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, Dogs Don't Tell Jokes, the Wayside School series, and the Marvin Redpost series. In February 2002, The Seattle Children's Theatre premiered Sachar's stage adaptation of Holes as part of the city's literacy initiative program. 

To Sachar's surprise, he was offered the opportunity to adapt his novel into the screenplay for the film. "This was the only way we could make the movie,” says Andrew Davis, who would direct the film adaptation. "I didn't want to make a movie from this amazing book that didn't reflect the book.” 

Sachar was delighted that Davis wanted to make a movie based on his work, but was a little hesitant about taking on the gargantuan task of writing the screenplay. "Louis was really nervous,” laughs Davis. "He said things like, ‘Oh, I don't know anything about Hollywood, I'm afraid, I've heard horror stories about what's happened to writers who sell their books to Hollywood filmmakers and producers.' But I made a commitment to him and to my partners on this film – Louis was going to be a part of the making of the movie.” 

"I had never written a screenplay before, but I read a few that Andy sent me, so I had a general idea of what a screenplay looked like,” says Sachar. "But writing a screenplay was a very different experience for me. When I write a novel, it's just me, alone in my office; I worked on Holes for a year and half without showing it to anyone. The screenplay, on the other hand, was really a collaborative effort. I'd try something, send it to Andy Davis and his staff, they'd make changes, and send it back. I learned a lot from them.” 

Though it may seem a departure from the type of film upon which Davis has built his reputation – such as "The Fugitive” and "A Perfect Murder” – in fact, Davis has illustrated his strength as a filmmaker in many genres, from the magical realism of "Steal Big, Steal Little” to the powerful human story of friendship between a group of interracial kids who dream about their big break in Davis' first film, "Stony Island.” "Holes” is an extension of that work. "I had been looking for something to direct that was different from the traditional political-action thrillers that I've made over the past few years,” says Davis. "But maybe ‘Holes' isn't that different for me. As in ‘The Fugitive,' it's about an unjustly accused man who proves his innocence.” 

Part of what makes the book so compelling is the story's three distinct but interwoven tales, spanning from modern day Texas to 18th-century Latvia to the Old West. For Tim Blake Nelson (who plays Dr. Pendanski, one of the "counselors” at the camp), like Davis and the rest of the cast and crew, Sachar's complex story and screenplay was one of the major reasons why the project was so appealing. "‘Holes

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