Peace River Films has been producing documentary films since 1972 on subjects including wildlife, people, history, culture and science.

We’ve produced films for PBS (NOVA, The American Experience, Smithsonian World), network television, the National Park Service, environmental and cultural institutions, and major corporations. In addition, we provide film production services, sales and rental of our completed productions, stock motion picture footage, and stock stills.

The Floyd Van Alstyne Story: A Video Oral History of America’s Oldest Commercial Truck Driver

Floyd Van Alstyn

This project is personal. I first met Floyd in 2015 when he delivered a load of lumber from the sawmill he and his sons operate at their farm in East Barnard, Vermont. At 97, Floyd claims to be the oldest licensed commercial truck driver in the country. As he dumped the load of rough-cut hemlock, he sized up the driveway I had been grading with a bulldozer.

“Not bad – for a writer”, he deadpanned.

He had read the book I had recently written about the Royalton Raid and he started to talk about it and the rest of the Revolutionary War, and then the War of 1812 and then both world wars and genealogy, the History of Vermont, and much more. Floyd has been reading history books all his life, but never went to high school. When he finished the 8th grade he had to make a living and went into the local logging camps and that was his life until he enlisted the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Floyd and his wife Marjorie are the oldest married couple in East Barnard. But age is not the most remarkable thing about either of them. What’s remarkable is the lives they have led and their encyclopedic memory of their experience – and not just theirs, but the handed-down collective experience of several generations of friends, neighbors and families.

This enterprise began as an oral history project to make a record of the lives of Floyd and Marjorie. They are part of an ever-dwindling generation of people who are nothing less than a national treasure, and I wanted to make sure they were recorded.

I have been video-taping them in sit-down interviews and in daily activity for over a year and have begun by producing a series of chapters: 1) Floyd’s early life; 2) Floyd’s WWII experience; 3) the family’s maple syrup operation; 4) the family’s sawmill. Other chapters would be: Floyd’s life in the logging camps; life in pre-war small town Vermont villages and farms; how it has evolved and, along with it, the landscape, the economy, the politics, the people.

 

Geronimo and the Apache Resistance

Geronimo and the Apache Resistance

Geronimo and the Apache Resistance

The American Experience, 1988 – 56 Minutes

For years, Apache tribes had resisted the advance of the pioneers and their threat to the traditional ways of life. But Geronimo fought the longest, becoming one of the most famous, feared and misunderstood Indian warriors in our history. Now at last, descendants of those Apaches who fought so long ago tell their story as it has never been told.

Purchase this film on DVD directly from PBS by clicking ->here<-.

All films can be purchased on DVD by contacting Peace River Films through our “contact info” page. Some films may be available on Amazon.com as used in both DVD and tape formats.

 

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson

The American Experience, 1993 – 53 Minutes

With Meryl Streep as the voice of Rachel Carson this 1993 film produced for “The American Experience” documents the life of Rachel Carson and the book “Silent Spring” that helped begin the modern environmental movement.

Purchase this film on DVD directly from PBS by clicking ->here<-.

All films can be purchased on DVD by contacting Peace River Films through our “contact info” page. Some films may be available on Amazon.com as used in both DVD and tape formats.

Following the Tundra Wolf

Tundra Wolf

Tundra Wolf

ABC-TV, 1975 – 45 Minutes

Narrated by Robert Redford this is the first film ever made of the wolf entirely in the wild. Filmed in the Canadian Northwest Territories along the Arctic Circle it is a living portrait of the tundra wolf and its principal prey, the barren ground caribou.

All films can be purchased on DVD by contacting Peace River Films through our “contact info” page. Some films may be available on Amazon.com as used in both DVD and tape formats.

Super Bridge

Super Bridge

Nova, 1997 – 56 Minutes

Narrated by Hal Holbrook this film chronicles the construction of a large cable-stayed bridge over the Mississippi River.

Purchase this film on DVD directly from PBS by clicking ->here<-.

All films can be purchased on DVD by contacting Peace River Films through our “contact info” page. Some films may be available on Amazon.com as used in both DVD and tape formats.

The Iron Road

The Iron Road

American Experience, 1990 – 56 Minutes

A one-hour film about the building of the transcontinental railway between Sacramento and Omaha in the 1860’s featuring stunning landscape photography, historic photographs and interviews with railroaders and historians and members of the Lakota tribe.

All films can be purchased on DVD by contacting Peace River Films through our “contact info” page. Some films may be available on Amazon.com as used in both DVD and tape formats.