One of America's preeminent and best-respected independent filmmakers, John Sayles has established a reputation for refusing to abandon his values in favor of becoming a studio filmmaker. As a result, his films tend to be rich, nuanced explorations of personal and political relationships, a style that reflects Sayles' beginnings as a novelist; he once admitted, "My main interest is making films about people...I'm not interested in cinematic art."
Sayles' interest in storytelling began at an early age: before the age of nine, he was an avid novel reader. A native of Schenectady, NY, where he was born on September 28, 1950, he went on to study at Williams College. In addition to pursuing a degree in psychology, Sayles also appeared in school plays and summer stock. It was through such activities that he met many of the people who would be his future collaborators, including actor David Strathairn and Maggie Renzi, who would serve as his producer and offscreen companion.