Film: REBELS WITH A CAUSE on WVIZ April 20 @ 4 PM


A one hour documentary premiering on WVIZ Sunday April 20 @ 4 pm

How a small regional battle over land grew into American’s legacy of National Seashores, Parks and Recreation Areas. It was fight that went all the way to the White House. Twice. How did they do it?

Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand narrates this tale about activists’ who-despite reversals, diversions and disappointments – persist in their mission for more than twenty years and foster a national movement to preserve open spaces and shape the environmental movement of today.

The fight begins in the 1950’s with a small group of ordinary citizens in Northern California who band together to protect lands adjacent to urban areas from San Francisco’s rampant development in order to preserve them for public recreation. But what begins as a regional effort evolves into a decades-long battle for many of American’s seashores. It’s a fight that goes all the way to the White House. Twice. So how did they do it?

REBELS WITH A CAUSE tells the story of the dreamers and schemers who fought to keep wealthy developers from taking over – and destroying – breathtaking natural landscapes. Despite their early efforts, however, “it wasn’t until John Kennedy was elected in 1960 that things began to move…,” says Bill Duddleson, Legislative Assistant to then – Congressman Clem Miller. “We drew up a petition which said only this: ‘Dear Mr. President, only you can preserve this magnificent seashore for all generations of Americans, It’s NOW or NEVER!” recalls Peter Behr, former California Senator.

Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969 says “After (Kennedy) appointed me Secretary of the Interior, he sent an Annual Conservation Message, and it included making Cape Cod a National Seashore. We looked at the President’s proposal – then said it would be selfish to just make Cape Cod a National Seashore; let’s have one on each coast! And we proposed Padre Island, Texas…and Point Reyes,” and it only got bigger from there.

REBELS WITH A CAUSE is the story of a small regional effort that grew into a legacy of National Seashores, National Parks and National Recreation Areas around the nation. It’s the story of garden clubs, ranchers, farmers, conservationists, politicians, widows and volunteers all of who worked their way through compromise and negotiation with the American public coming up as a winner. It’s a struggle that crosses party lines, unites seemingly antagonistic foes, falters and is nearly extinguished many times along the way, but is ultimately victorious. Beautiful cinematic footage, clever animation, moving interviews and a very compelling story are deftly woven together in a tale that is especially meaningful for contemporary times.

Director: Nancy Kelly, Kelly & Yamamoto Productions
Producers: Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, Kelly+Yamanto Productions
Executive Producer: Nancy Dobbs, KRCB North Bay Public Media

Broadcast underwritten by Earth: EarthJustice. Because the Earth Needs A Good Lawyer.

REBELS is airing in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington Dc, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Go to: to find the broadcast and more information.