Environmental Film Festival Virtual Screening of “The Greatest Good”
Press Release · Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Washington, DC

In partnership with the 2021 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) and the United States Forest Service, the National Archives presents free virtual screenings of The Greatest Good, a documentary film available on demand Thursday, March 19–Sunday, March 28. Register for free film viewing online.


The Greatest Good Virtual Film Screenings
Thursday, March 19–Sunday, March 28

Introduced by Producers Ann & Steven Dunsky and Dave Steinke
The Greatest Good explores the history of the U.S. Forest Service, using rarely seen footage and photos, sweeping aerial shots, and dozens of interviews to tell a complex and compelling story of the American land. Before “environmentalism,” before the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service was created in 1905 by President Theodore Roosevelt and his Chief Forester Gifford Pinchot. They sought not only to conserve disappearing natural resources but also to maximize the social benefits from those resources. Pinchot’s mission statement for his new agency stated, “where conflicting interests must be reconciled, the question shall always be decided from the standpoint of the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run.” This documentary film uses Pinchot’s maxim as its starting point and as an organizing theme. It traces Forest Service efforts to deliver the most benefits to the most people while remaining good stewards of the land. The film features an original score by Lance Bendiksen and is narrated by Charles Osgood. (2005, 120 min.)


The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films. The 29th Annual DCEFF will be held virtually March 18–28, 2021.


Related conference: Films of State
April 7–April 9, 2021
The National Archives and the University of Maryland will host Films of State, their first-ever virtual Government Film Conference, with screenings, presentations, panel discussions, and “how-to” film research guidance. Open to academics, filmmakers, press, students, film historians, and anyone engaged in research and the re-use of government films! Full schedule and participation info online.


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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on March 17, 2021.
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