In 2000, Pearson heard the story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager living in Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide. Fascinated, Pearson interviewed Rusesabagina and wrote the script for Hotel Rwanda, sending it to director Terry George, who fell in love with the story. The film was released in 2004 to positive reviews. George and Pearson shared an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. Also securing Oscar nominations were Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo for their performances.