Film Festival

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Harpers Ferry Center, our staff producers have curated a selection of 50 films that explore the abundant natural resources and rich cultural heritage of our National Parks. All of these films were produced by HFC staff and contractors for NPS sites across the country, and many have never before been available online. We'll release a new batch of films every two weeks throughout the summer, and we'll be hosting several live Q&A sessions where you'll get a chance to chat with filmmakers, park staff, and subject matter experts. We invite you to join the conversation, or just grab some popcorn and enjoy an epic summer road trip from the comfort of home.

Brown horses on the beach facing the camera with the water to the left of the frame and sand to the right

A Day at the Beach

Getting your toes in the sand is a quintessential summer experience, and our national seashores and lakeshores are some of the most beautiful places in the world to do just that. But if you can’t visit the beach this summer, we’re bringing it to you. Join us in in a virtual escape to some of the most iconic coastal destinations in the National Park System.



World War II

In this series, we’ll discover how a resilient America mobilized its people to triumph over tyranny. We’ll visit places where American blood was shed and valor is memorialized forever. We'll confront the war's legacies of racism and discrimination. And we’ll pay tribute to the men and women who paid the price of war in many different ways.



America's Wilderness

Adventure, spiritual retreat, inspiration, wildlife habitat, scientific laboratory… What does wilderness mean to you? In government terms, "wilderness" is a special designation that provides the highest level of protection to some of our wildest American landscapes. Join us on a journey to explore these special places. Without leaving your chair you can wander a beach in New York, paddle through a swamp in South Carolina, watch wildlife in the deserts of Arizona, and fly over snow-covered mountains in Alaska.

Landscape of wilderness

America's Wilderness Film Series - Filmmaker Q&A

The America’s Wilderness Film Series represents a unique collaboration between the NPS Harpers Ferry Center, the NPS Wilderness Stewardship Division, and American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking. Watch the films and then join us for a live Q&A session with the filmmakers and series producers to go behind the scenes!


Black and white photo of Sputnik and a newspaper article about Russia in Space

The Cold War

During the Cold War of the late 1940s to the early 1990s, the United States deployed a vast arsenal of nuclear missiles across the Great Plains, armed and ready to strike the Soviet Union in 30 minutes or less. The Minuteman Missile had the power to destroy civilization while paradoxically preserving an uneasy peace. In this series of films we’ll take you to a peaceful prairie in South Dakota that once held the power to obliterate the world, and meet some of the men and women stationed in underground launch control centers and missile silos who waited patiently for orders that - thankfully - never came.

White walls encircle a green tipped missile

Beneath the Plains: The Minuteman Missile on Alert - Q&A Replay

Harpers Ferry Center and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site host a live conversation on the legacy of the Atomic Age and the Cold War to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Watch our award-winning film Beneath the Plains: The Minuteman Missile on Alert, then join us for a live Q&A with the filmmakers and a panel of Cold War experts and former missileers.


Back to Nature

National parks preserve many of our most beloved landscapes, from the colorful spires of Bryce Canyon to the powerful waters of the mighty Missouri River. In this series of films, we’ll explore a few of America’s canyons, caves, rivers, and swamps and meet some of the people (and critters) who live, work, and play in these natural treasures.



Preserving African American History

America's national parks weave together a mosaic of African American history. From a colonial-era burial ground for free and enslaved Africans in Manhattan to a blood-stained bridge in Selma, Alabama, these sites preserve and commemorate some of the places where African American history unfolded. In this series, we visit several of these iconic sites and meet some of the heroes—both celebrated and unsung—of the 400+ year struggle for freedom and equality.



Alaska and Hawaii

We wrap up the festival with a visit to America’s 49th and 50th states. These films provide an opportunity to submerge yourself in the vastness, exquisite beauty, and remarkable cultures that are part of what make Alaska and Hawaii special.


Last updated: January 27, 2021