RA Will Give $20K for Movie Project

Donation will help produce film to run in 2014 - Reston's 50th birthday and Reston founder Robert E. Simon's 100th birthday.

Reston Association will give up to $20,000 to a local film production company that is making a film about Reston's first 50 years.

The RA Board of Directors voted last week at its regular monthly meeting to give the donation to Storycatcher Productions. The decision had been tabled from the board's Dec. 13 meeting.

RA president Ken Knueven said at the December meeting that the film will be a permanent legacy in telling the story of Reston, so the Reston Association should support it.

The movie, tentatively titled The Reston Story: A Film About Reston, Virginia - The First 50 Years, will tell the story from Reston's beginnings as farmland purchased by founder Robert E. Simon for $1,500 an acre.

The movie is part of the 2014 celebration of Simon's 100th birthday, Reston's 50th birthday, and Reston Town Center's 25th anniversary.

Meanwhile, Reston Commuity Center says it will give $50,000 a year, each year, for three years (FY12, FY13, FY14) to support different film chapters, says RCC executive director Leila Gordon. 

Other local funders include Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Comstock. An individual giving campaign will begin at the 2013 Founder's Day Celebration on April 13.

The director is Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, a Reston native and documentary filmmaker. Susan Jones, a former RA president, is providing research, production and writing assistance.

The Reston Historic Trust is also helping with the project,

Total cost of the film is expected to be about $300,000.


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Scott February 01, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Well done Laura! You said what many are thinking - why bother they do not listen. Well, from now on I am going to voice my opposition to this spend, spend, spend mentality! Next year when we get our dues with yet another increase maybe the fine folks of Reston can start asking the hard questions! Fiscal responsibly!
Laura Calacci February 01, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Thanks Scott. I have seriously been told by many people that I should run for the Board and maybe I should.
K2 February 04, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Ridiculous use of money. This is like a restaurant spending 20K in advertising costs and then only advertising to its own employees. Seriously, there is much better use of this money than a one time viewing at a celebration. No one will ever watch this movie again and, do we really need them to? Do we really need to advertise for Reston and tell more developers how great it is? If the folks who are more into arts and history and soft investments like this really need to spend this money, for the love of humanity, spend it on something more tangible. Art classes, new playground, something that benefits the community. I love living in Reston but I don't need to nominate either Reston or its founder for Sainthood. The person(s) who decided to spend this money are too close to the problem and have been influenced to believe that this decision was for the betterment of Reston culture as a whole (somehow). It is righteous for the RA to believe that it is doing this for our own good, or, that we should be proud to have this movie made. Fast forward a few years - a movie, really? Reston is comprised of people and neighborhoods. Take care of the people and neighborhoods. This is just exhausting.
Java Master February 05, 2013 at 04:12 AM
I agree with K2, Scott, Laura and others here that this was a poor decision. RA is not, and should not be, in the film financing business. I can only hope that this mistake will NOT be repeated in the future, along with such puzzling decisions as paying $26K for a community survey of questionable content and utility. And regarding Mr, Simon--hey, I like the guy too, right?...but this continued lionization of the gent risks going beyond the pale. Remember that there indeed are other planned communities as well, and Reston ( nor Columbia, MD , nor The Woodlands, TX for that matter ) was not necessarly the model for all that followed. Reston is now being consummed in total by the continuing development of Fairfax County. RA should therefore be concentrating on direct services and the maintenance of its amenties for which Reston residents are assessed, and NOT on public relations and "legacy" type frou-frou. Enough of the cumbayah communtarianism--we want a solid return and visible results for our assessment dollars. Are you listening, RA?
chicoman22 February 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Laura, You are absolutely correct on all points.What justification does the RA have to spend the members dues(significant raise this year) on projects like this.You forgot the recent survey done by the RA for 26k.Are there going to be any results published??The RA has all email addresses and can easily get the results of this survey out and maybe some anticipated actions to make to address any issues that may come from the survey.I am not confident that it will happen but I hope we can share in the information that we paid for on a random survey of 3000 RA members.By the way,I am totally sure that a resident of an area assisted living facility received 2 surveys "randomly" addressed to her address.


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