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?

A one hour documentary premiering on PBS stations during April, in celebration of Earth Day.

For trailer and more information visit:

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.

About Kelly+Yamamoto Productions

Kelly+Yamamoto Productions was founded in 1985 by Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto.  For more than 20 years, Kelly+Yamamoto have produced independent non-fiction and fiction films that have been distributed nationally and internationally in theaters, on television, as well as in the home video and educational markets.  Kelly+Yamamoto films have won numerous film festival awards and have been official selections for festivals in England, Ireland, Brazil, and France.  Kelly and Yamamoto were both fellows at the Sundance Institute June Lab, and Yamamoto was a fellow at the Sundance Institute Documentary Lab.  REBELS WITH A CAUSE marks the first collaboration between Kelly+Yamamoto Productions and Boston-based distributor,American Public Television.  Kelly+Yamamoto’s previous public television credits include: America ReFramed: TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives (2012)PBS Primetime Special: SMITTEN (2007); Independent Lens: Downside UP (2003); andAmerican Playhouse: Thousand Pieces of Gold (1992).


About KRCB North Bay Public Media

KRCB TV, Channel 22, has been the local PBS station in Sonoma County, supplying quality broadcasting to the viewing public. KRCB has produced or co-produced a number of programs with this philosophy in mind, including the multiple Emmy Award winning Natural Heroes, a nationally aired series on the environment featuring local people working to create change in their own communities, with production support coming in part from General Hydroponics, the Wallace Genetic Foundation and the Sierra Club.  KRCB has also produced short video programs on local history (Expressions) and on the local environment (Bay Nature on the Air) in conjunction with Bay Nature Magazine.


About American Public Television

Since 1961, American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations.  APT also has distributed about half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles for nearly 10 years.  Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Rick Steves’ Europe, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Moyers & Company, NHK Newsline, Lidia’s Kitchen, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, BBC World News and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home join numerous documentaries and performance programs popular with public television viewers.  APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service.  Entering its 9th year, Create® TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — is distributed by APT.  APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel.  For more information, visit .



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