Press: In the News

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Rebels with a Cause is so beautifully shot – you really get a great feel for both the natural world of the area, and how it’s integrated so well with the urban environment. One thing in particular sets Rebels apart from others of this type: it’s very calm, and not unnecessarily dramatized. Almost always in films about political or social conflict, the filmmakers goose the audience with swelling music and filmic flourishes to emphasize turning points in the story. I liked that the filmmakers didn’t do that – just told it straightforwardly.”
-Ed Carter, Documentary Curator
Film Archive, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Screening at The Sequoias

Rebel Phyllis Faber and Nancy Kelly presented Rebels to 80+ people at The Sequoias in San Francisco. Many had hiked on the lands in the film, others remembered Congressman Phil Burton and the battles featured in the film. Special thanks to Beau Blanchard from The California Film Institute and Candiece Milford from The Sequoias.

Teaching Sociology review

“An informative and well-crafted examination of a somewhat unknown chapter of the American environmental movement. Appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate-level sociology courses. Students will appreciate the courage, strategy, and fortitude that these people demonstrated to win campaigns for the most unprecedented amount of green space, close to an urban center, in the entire world. Restores one’s faith in the potential efficacy of social movements, even in the face of what appeared to be insurmountable odds.”
—Jeneve R. Brooks, Teaching Sociology

Marisa Walker, Marin Agricultural Land Trust

“I can’t recommend this film enough as a tool for inspiring local change. Although the film tells a local story about the San Francisco Bay Area, it reaches far beyond our little slice of the country. It’s also helpful in terms of describing the importance of land trusts in large-scale land preservation and environmental campaigns. A terrific tool for community engagement.”

Elizabeth Williams, Oregon Shores

“With the attempts on a national level to takeover federal/public lands, US forests etc., the message of this documentary needs to be seen, heard, taken to the hearts of the citizenry in every state.”

Where to pick up a DVD

Kenji & Nancy at the Alcatraz Island Bookstore

Kenji & Nancy at  Alcatraz Island

Here are all the Bay Area locations where you can find Rebels for sale:

  • Point Reyes Books
  • A Bicycle Odyssey
  • Copperfields Books
  • Point Reyes National Seashore – Bear Valley Visitor Center
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area – Warming Hut
  • Muir Woods Visitor’s Center
  • Lands End Visitor’s Center
  • Bridge Pavilion Visitor’s Center
  • Alcatraz Visitor’s Center
  • Fort Point Visitor’s Center
  • Nicasio Valley Cheese Company Creamery Store

Planning Magazine

“Importantly, for urban and regional planners, the film is unequivocal about exactly why these lands need preservation: all too often — both then and now — natural areas are consumed by rampant and poorly planned residential sprawl.”
—Ezra Haber Glenn, Professor
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Times Herald

“‘I work equally hard on every film. When something starts to move the way ‘Rebels’ has, all you can do is try and keep up with it,’ Kelly said.”
full article

Record Bee, Lake County News

“This film will inspire and energize you for the continuing work to be done…to protect and preserve the critical open spaces and habitats in our own communities.”

Nadine de Coteau, Marketing Director, Earthjustice

“Rebels tells the story of how vision, advocacy, community action, commitment, political will and strategy can work together to outwit and outmaneuver even the richest, most powerful factions. It’s a reminder that a strong coalition of “regular people’ can achieve a truly ambitious goal for our country. That lesson is worth noting, especially given the influence money has on our political system today.”
full article

Educational Media Reviews Online

“Highly Recommended. That some of the priciest real estate in the world could be saved from the seemingly inexorable force of development and speculation seems almost beyond comprehension…This documentary details the decades-long struggles of grass-roots activists who fought against powerful development interests. Largely unknown, these figures…constitute an important chapter in the history of the environmental movement.”
full review

Sierra Magazine

“Rebels with a Cause tells the story of how a group of conservationists, politicians, ranchers, farmers, and volunteers spearheaded a campaign to block development projects like Marincello. Today, the planned city lies within the boundaries of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, one of the most popular in the entire National Park Service. The recreation area’s existence is a direct result of the tireless work chronicled in Rebels with a Cause. Thanks to the efforts of those depicted in the film, the only real remnant of Marincello is a mountain biking trail that follows what would have been the potential town’s main boulevard.”
full article

San Francisco Chronicle Review

SFCHRON“With the help of engaging interviews, excellent graphic maps and Lou Weinert’s cinematography – his Bay Area landscape shots are beautiful – filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto are able to translate what was essentially an incremental bureaucratic fight into cinematic terms…In the end, you’ll probably more appreciate the area we call home – and grab your hiking (or bicycling) gear.”
full review
SFGate capsule

National Parks Traveler

“Cicely Muldoon, superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore, said, ‘This film captures the essence of how local citizens found what it took to preserve these two national treasures, right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. What a gift to those of us who enjoy these places today, and what a gift to future generations.'”
full article

Video Librarian

***1/2 “Offering a timely reminder of how bottom-up activism once worked, this beautifully-filmed documentary is highly recommended.”
-F. Gardner
Video Librarian
full review


“Filled with personal recollections, archival footage, period stills, and breathtaking location shots, this inspiring program, narrated by Frances McDormand, pays tribute to early environmental pioneers and conservationists, reminding viewers of the role ordinary people played in preserving the environment.”
-Candace Smith
full review

American Institute of Architects

“An exceptional documentary chronicling a community’s struggle to preserve its landscape for future generations. The visually stunning film weaves the complex story of local, national and state politics, community activism and just the right amount of luck into a heroic tale of the creation of a new national park.”
-Margie O’Driscoll
Executive Director, American Institute of Architects San Francisco + Center for Architecture + Design

TrustMovies blog

“There was a time (most of my life, actually) when Republicans and Democrats worked together to make good (and sometimes bad) things happen. The new hour-long documentary, REBELS WITH A CAUSE, brings back a taste of that time… Yes, there were bullies and blowhards back then, too, yet the cooperation between the two political parties shown here should bring an “if-only” tear to your eye…Most of all it demonstrates how a movement this powerful began on a citizen level rather than on an ‘elected’ level — and still achieved its goal.”
-James van Maanen
full article

Baret News Wire

“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.”
-Baret News Wire

SF Examiner

“Interesting, inspiring film…Instead of Marincello, we have the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. And instead of freeways, housing, and a hotel and golf course or two as far north as the tip of Point Reyes, we have the Point Reyes National Seashore. Thanks, rebels!…Along the way, there were threats, family rifts, political debate, creative maneuvering, and good old-fashioned people power. It’s hard to imagine such achievements today, in part because of the cost. Thank goodness, these battles won’t have to be fought again.”
-Pamela Feinsilber
SF Examiner

On Screen/In Person Tour

Nancy and Kenji are on tour with On Screen/In Person. Sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the tour focuses on American independent films and REBELS is screening at six venues: art centers, theaters, and universities. Local rebels, including Sierra Club members and a national park superintendent are joining Nancy and Kenji for post-screening discussions.

WHAT: On Screen/In Person Tour – St. John School of the Arts
WHEN: Tuesday, February 3, 7:30 PM
WHERE: St. John, Virgin Islands

WHAT: On Screen/In Person Tour – Ferguson Center for the Arts
WHEN: Thursday, February 5, 7:00 PM
WHERE: 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, VA

WHAT: On Screen/In Person Tour – Black Rock Center for the Arts
WHEN: Saturday, February 7, 8:00 PM
WHERE: 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown, MD

WHAT: On Screen/In Person Tour – Monmouth University
WHEN: Monday, February 9, 7:30 PM
WHERE: Pollak Theater, 400 Cedar Ave., Long Branch, NJ

WHAT: On Screen/In Person Tour – World Cafe Live
WHEN: Wednesday, February 11, 6:00 PM
WHERE: 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE

WHAT: On Screen/In Person Tour – Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst University
WHEN: Friday, February 13, 7:30 PM

WHAT: “Off the Screen” at the Exploratorium
WHEN: Thursday, February 19, 7:00 PM
WHERE: Exploratorium, Pier 15, Kanbar Forum, San Francisco, CA

Read Nancy’s On Screen/In Person Tour blog. Listen to an interview with Nancy through the On Screen/In Person Tour podcast.

Invite Bay Area Rebels to your screening event!

Use this form to invite Bay Area Rebels to your event.

“There are still a few local showings of this interesting, inspiring film (it won the 2012 Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Favorite Award for Best Documentary/Active Cinema), and eventually you should be able to rent or buy it. Meanwhile, why not revisit these gorgeous spots and remind yourself how close we came to losing them?”
full article

San Francisco Bay Guardian

Bay Guardian Review“An inspiring look at the Marin County activists who fought to preserve the NorCal coastline at a time when ‘conservation’ was a dirty word.”
Review by Dennis Harvey
full issue

San Francisco Weekly

SF WEEKLY“Recommended for anyone who’s ever crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and nearly wept with gratitude for whatever blessed benediction has allowed all those gorgeous rolling acres to remain unmolested…some brave citizens told the planned “Marincello” headlands development to go take a hike, and now, breathing ever deeply, we all can do likewise.”
full article

Pacific Sun

“Kelly and her editor/co-producer Kenji Yamamoto cleverly weave archival footage, interviews, animation and narration by Frances McDormand into an educational and entertaining doc, one that draws us into a nervous sweat, with showdowns rising up over decades again and again in Whack-A-Mole fashion…Defense of the land began here at the grass-roots level where, fortunately, grass still grows and we can dream peacefully. Without these rebels, it’s certain we’d wake up screaming.”
full article

San Francisco Chronicle- Leah Garchick Column

LeahGarchickColumn “The cocktail invented for the [SF Green Film Festival screening] is the Marincello (prosecco with limoncello, preserved Meyer lemon syrup and frozen raspberry), and – not denigrating the seriousness of the subject – the exact recipe for the drink has more hits on the movie’s Facebook page than any other information on the site.”
full article

Bay Nature Interview

Bay Nature“It’s rare that we stop and think how these open spaces came to be, but filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto do the work largely for us. This inspiring story about citizen action and community organizing showcases the efforts of the prominent Bay Area residents who helped set the precedent for protecting open space and shaped the environmental movement of today.”
full interview

“Tells the David and Goliath story of how one of America’s most visited, and arguably it’s most beautiful, urban national parks…almost didn’t exist.”
full review


“Describes in fascinating detail how dedicated conservationists raised Californians’ awareness of their power to promote change.”
full review

7×7 Magazine

“All it takes is a village — that’s the message in Rebels With a Cause, a documentary by Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto about a few fierce Marinites who banded together to save the Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area from big business development.”
full article

San Francisco Bay Guardian Online

“Testaments to the ability of citizen activism to arrest the seemingly unstoppable forces of money, power and political influence. There is a hidden history of the Bay Area, and of what didn’t come to pass — numerous marinas, subdivisions, and other developments that would have made San Francisco and its surrounds into another Los Angeles.”
full article 

North Bay Bohemian

“A documentary to honor those who dedicated themselves to preserving the land in a post–World War II era, a time when development was king and owning a home meant believing in America…Instead of cows and native shrubs and grasses, imagine the scenic Marin Headlands or Point Reyes covered in little boxes made of ticky-tacky.”
full review

Sonoma State Star

“Director Nancy Kelly is a rebel with a cause…While James Dean didn’t have a cause, Kelly found a handful of Rebels with an important one: saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast.”
full review

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

“If we want more retrospective, more talk of game-changers, we need to watch for a remarkable film called Rebels With a Cause…the long-awaited result of a good idea.”
full review

Bay Area Theatrical Run Began With A Bang!

Roxie Theater
May 31, 2013 – June 06, 2013
3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA
Tickets & show times

Smith Rafael Film Center

June 07, 2013 – June 13, 2013
1118 Fourth Street (Between A & B) San Rafael, CA
Tickets & show times

Appearing in Person: Filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto at 6:30 show on Friday, June 7

Climate One Panel Discussion following 1:30 show on Sunday, June 9
Greg Dalton, Host, Climate One
Nancy Dobbs, President & CEO, KRCB Television and Radio
Nancy Kelly, Director/Producer Rebels with a Cause
Will Rogers, President & CEO, Trust for Public Land
Trent Orr, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice

Elmwood Theater
June 07, 2013 – June 13, 2013
2966 College Avenue at Ashby Berkeley, CA 94705
Tickets & show times

Rialto Cinemas Sebastopol
June 07, 2013 – June 13, 2013
6868 Mckinley Ave. Sebastopol, CA 95472
Tickets & show times

Camera 3 Cinema, San Jose
June 14, 2013 – June 16, 2013
288 South Second Street, San Jose, CA
Tickets & show times

Wrapped in San Rafael after 11 Weeks!

Rafael TheaterSmith Rafael Film Center
August 16-22, @ 4:15 PM*
1118 Fourth Street (Between A & B)
San Rafael, CA
Info & tickets

* Nancy and Kenji will attend a final Q&A with the audience after the show on Thursday, August 22.

The Magick Lantern
Friday, August 23, 5 PM & 8 PM
Saturday, August 24, 5 PM & 8 PM*magicklanternlogo
Sunday, August 25, 2 PM, 5PM & 8 PM
125 Park Place (behind Starbucks)
Point Richmond, CA
Info & tickets

Architecture and the City Festival
Wednesday, September 4, 5:30 PM
San Francisco Public Library
110 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA

SPUR – Unbuilt California Exhibition
Wednesday, September 11, 6:30 or 7 PM*
654 Mission St
San Francisco, CA


*Personal appearances by Nancy and/or Kenji.