Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction action film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. The film focuses on disparate groups of people who converge in the Nevada desert in the aftermath of a worldwide attack by an extraterrestrial race of unknown origin. With the other people of the world, they launch a last-ditch counterattack on July 4 – Independence Day in the United States.
While promoting Stargate in Europe, Emmerich came up with the idea for the film when fielding a question about his own belief in the existence of alien life. He and Dean Devlin decided to incorporate a large-scale attack having noticed that aliens in most invasion films travel long distances in outer space only to remain hidden when reaching Earth. Shooting began in July 1995 in New York City, and the film was officially completed on June 20, 1996.