Q&A: Marcello Pastonesi, A Storyhunter Takeover in Northern Uganda
Marcello Pastonesi took over the Storyhunter Instagram during an assignment to South Sudan and Uganda. With a background in TV, Marcello now specializes in freelance video journalism and documentary filmmaking in conflict zones in the Middle East and North and Central Africa for media companies and NGOs. We asked Marcello about his latest trip to the UNHCR refugee camp in Uganda.
Storyhunter: What was your project about?
Marcello Pastonesi: I was traveling with the UNHCR —the UN Refugee Agency — visiting their camps in Northern Uganda. While there I reported for Rai, an Italian state television network, and La Repubblica, an Italian paper.
S: What is your favorite picture from the Takeover?
MP: My favorite picture was the one of the girl with the blue veil. I was lucky because the two men on either side of her bowed their heads in the same direction creating an interesting composition and are in contrast with the girl. They look tired by the situation they are in while the girl stands strong, elegant, beautiful. In my mind it represents the dignity and the strength I have seen in these people.
S: What draws you to the freelance life?
MP: The thing I like about freelancing is being free. I was an executive producer of MTV News in Italy. I decided to freelance when I realized I wasn’t shooting stories anymore and was always in the office on Excel. Now I don’t have to ask for holidays, but the downside is I don’t have paid holidays like journalists who are employed either! But I think it’s worth it. And, at least for the moment, I’m ok.
S: What was the most memorable part of this assignment?
MP: I was in great company in this trip. I was traveling with photographer Alessandro Penso and writer Giuseppe Catozzella. They are both very talented, award winners (World Press & Strega), but still two simple, down-to-earth guys. We worked hard but the atmosphere was good and we had fun.
By Jindalae Suh, Storyhunter Content and Marketing Intern.