Reston filmmaker Rebekah Wingert-Jabi is a 2013 Peabody Award winner for her work on My Neighbourhood, the story of a Palestinian teenager forced to share a section of his house with Israeli settlers.
The Peabody Awards, which recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by broadcasters, cable and Webcasters, producing organizations, and individuals, were announced last week.
Wingert-Jabi co-directed the film with Julia Bacha. Wingert-Jabi's mother, Vicky Wingert, a board member of Reston Community Center and the Reston Historic Trust, was a co-producer.
Wingert-Jabi is also hard at work on another project - a film about Reston's first 50 years. The movie is slated to be a centerpiece of the celebration in Spring 2014 that will honor Reston founder Robert E. Simon's 100th birthday and Reston's 50th anniversary.
Wingert-Jabi moved to Reston in 1973, when she was a few days old. After earning degrees in Asian Studies and film and living in Asia, she returned to Reston four years ago with her husband. She is now raising her own family in what once was the "New Town."
"The further away I got from Reston, the more I realized how much I loved it and what makes it unique," said Wingert-Jabi.
Wingert-Jabi is working with researcher/writer/producer Susie Jones - as well as with young interns and South Lakes High School students - to go through hundreds of pieces of Reston home movie footage, memorabilia and photos that might be suitable for the movie.
They still welcome contributions for the archives that will tell Reston's story.
"Anyone who has anything visual - magazines, photos," said Wingert-Jabi. "That's how we keep the past alive."
The team is also looking for sponsors. The project is expected to cost about $350,000. Even with grants from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Reston Association and Reston Community Center, they still need additional individual and community support.
Wingert-Jabi and Jones say as of now, the film - tentatively titled The Reston Story - will look at the history of Reston, as well as current issues at the 50-year mark. Among them: The potential redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course and Lake Anne and Metro's Silver Line, which will open in late 2013.
"Right now, it is a story about a very unique place," says Wingert-Jabi. "Reston made a mark on urban development when it emerged in the 1960s. "Now at 50, it is facing some growing pains.
At Founder's Day on April 13, the team will be taping the celebration, as well as interviewing Restonians. They will also soon be launching the film's website, www.therestonfilm.com.
Have something the moviemakers should use in the film? Contact them at Restonfilmrwj@gmail.com.
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