‘The Reston Story’ Nearly Ready To Show Reston’s First 50 Years

TheRestonStoryLogo/Credit: Susan Jones

For more than two years, director/producer Rebekah Wingert-Jabi and researcher/writer/producer Susan Jones have been scanned and documenting, filming and editing.

They amassed about 250 hours of film and 4,000 documents, all of which will be edited down into an hour-long film that will tell the story of Reston as it readies for it’s 50th anniversary.

The Reston Story has truly been a community effort, says Jones. The project has received financial support from dozens of Reston businesses and families. The filmmakers have also interviewed 70 subjects — from Reston founder Robert Simon to Reston pioneers to planning experts who talk about Reston’s groundbreaking style when it was founded in 1964, says Jones.

The filmmakers also put out the call for archival pieces such as home movies and family photos from the first 50 years. Jones says the variety they received will add richness and personality to the the story.

“There are three main reasons we are making this movie,” she said. “One, to celebrate Reston’s 50th anniversary. Two, to get Restonains on the same page about our history. And three, to show the incredible impact Reston has had on community development in the United Stated and beyond.”

Wingert-Jabi grew up in Reston and returned a few years ago to raise her own family here. She won a Peabody Award in 2013 for her work as the co-director on My Neighbourhood, the story of a Palestinian teenager forced to share a section of his house with Israeli settlers. 

The Peabody Award is a prestigious national awards program that recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious service by broadcasters, cable and webcasters, producing organizations, and individuals.

Those credentials will help The Reston Story as it tries to gain entrance in major film festivals, says Jones.

The film will be screened for sponsoring groups and individuals on April 5, which is also the public Founders Day celebration in honor of Reston’s 50th anniversary and Simon’s 100th birthday.

Then it will hopefully go to festivals later this year, said Jones.

After that, there will likely be screenings for the public in Reston. The filmmakers also hope to get the film shown on PBS. Eventually, it will be available for purchase on DVD.

While the film is still in its final editing stages, Jones says one of the messages that really comes through is how much people love the community.

“The enthusiasm all of the people we interviewed really comes through,” said Jones, a longtime Reston resident.  “It reinforces what I feel about Reston.”

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