On Tour: West Long Branch, NJ

23 Feb

February 9, 2015  | REBELS WITH A CAUSE | West Long Branch, NJ

Screening 1: 88° day, 86° night
Screening 2: 43° day (feels like 33°), 20° night
Screening 3: 48° day, 30° night
Screening 4: 43° day, 25° night
Screening 5: 28° night (feels like 15°)

A good portion of the audience was from local environmental organizations, including Bob Sandberg, who is a member of the Shore Group of NJ Chapter of Sierra Club, as well as of the Tinton Falls Environmental Commission. Remarkably, a couple audience members had been touched by rebel Huey Johnson’s legacy. For example, Huey led a conference in Mexico in the late 1990s that one man had attended. “I knew he was a big-wig then,” he told us. “I shouldn’t have been surprised that he’s also a big wig in California!” Of course, Huey is an international environmental force; he received the United Nations Sasakawa Prize in 2001 in honor of his outstanding contributions to the environment. A bright-eyed young woman who heard about the screening in the local paper, spent part of last summer helping the Nature Conservancy eradicate an invasive plant from dunes on Lake Michigan. In one of the key chapters in Rebels, Huey tells the story of how, when he was the West Coast Director of the Nature Conservancy, he defeated Gulf Oil’s plan to build a city of 30,000 on land that would become the cornerstone of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

People talked about New Jersey’s history of land-saving and watershed conservation. One man said that decades ago, developers had made farmers in southern New Jersey offers they couldn’t refuse—similar to what was going on with farmers portrayed in Rebels with a Cause. But those in New Jersey didn’t or couldn’t turn to agricultural land trusts and conservation easements. My heart skipped a beat when he said, “Their last crop was blacktop.” Another man described some land-saving legislation that was pretty successful under one governor. Then he named the next 3 or 4 governors and the current governor, who he felt had steadily undermined it. The older environmentalists seemed a bit discouraged, but the younger ones were energized. They’d been involved in preserving several watersheds, including one that flowed through the Monmouth University campus. After the screening, someone sent me a link to Duke Farms in NJ. Don’t miss the live Eagle Cam!

2-9_Audience

It wasn’t a very big crowd and several people wanted to know how more people could see Rebels. I told them that we have a famous, anonymous donor paying for half the DVD for a handful of non-profits and community groups (reducing the price from $95 to $45). These DVDs come with public performance rights so can be screened to members/volunteers, shown to the public or lent out of a library. And—I always get a kick out of this part—the identity of the “mystery person” is revealed in the thank you note after organizations get their DVDs 🙂

 

I stayed at Cedars and Beeches, a beautiful 9,000+ square foot bed and breakfast in Long Branch—a nice relief from hotels and only a few blocks from the long white sand beach on the Atlantic. It’s no wonder 7 presidents, stayed here during the summers. Ulysses S. Grant called it the nation’s summer capital. But I bet when he stayed here, it didn’t look like this.

2-9_Beach 2

2-9_Beach

Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Nancy Kelly.
To listen to a podcast interview with the filmmaker, click here.

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