Reston filmmaker Rebekah Wingert-Jabi was on WAMU’s “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” on Thursday to discuss Robert E. Simon’s vision for a new town in the Virginia countryside a half-century ago.
Wingert-Jabi, director of “Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA,” was visiting the show to promote the documentary, which will screen at the National Building Museum March 24 as part of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.
Wingert-Jabi spoke about how Simon wanted dense housing as well as the beauty of nature when he founded Reston in the mid-1960s.
“When Robert E. Simon saw [the acreage that would be become Reston], what struck him most was natural beauty,” Wingert-Jabi said in response to Nnamdi’s question about Simon’s desire to break away from “Cul de sacs and cookie cutter homes.”
“He also said ‘we don’t have to to that,’ ” said Wingert-Jabi. ” ‘What about the idea of townhouses?’ If we put people together, maybe we can build a sense of community.’ And if you put lots of people together, you will also have lots of open space.”
Wingert-Jabi’s 70 minute film premiered in Reston last fall. It was edited from a rough cut shown to Restonians in 2014. The final version includes the milestone of Simon’s death last September at age 101.
Another Way of Living will screen at 6:30 p.m. on March 24 at the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW, Washington, DC). Admission to the festival is free.