Freelance reporter/ producer and writer/film director to speak at URI March 16

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URI alumni to speak at Amanpour lecture


KINGSTON, R.I. — March 8, 2016 – Freelance reporter and producer Mark Scialla and writer/film director Reshad Kulenovic will give their perspectives on international journalism during a lecture at the University of Rhode Island Wednesday, March 16.


They will deliver the Christiane Amanpour Lecture at 7 p.m. at the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Road, on the Kingston campus. The talk is free and open to the public.


“The Amanpour Lecture is one of our premier events each year, but this year it is even more special than usual,” said John Pantalone, chair of the Journalism Department at URI. “Both presenters are recent graduates of the university and the Harrington School of Communication and Media, and we are justly proud of them. At a young age they have produced significant work in the international news arena.”


Scialla has worked as a freelance multimedia reporter in Asia, where he covered violence against journalists in the Philippines, the wildlife trade in Vietnam and illegal fishing in Myanmar. His articles, films and photography have been published by The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, Smithsonian Magazine and VICE News.


Scialla, a URI 2012 graduate, majored in journalism and environmental and natural resource economics. He was a news editor for The Good 5 Cent Cigar as an undergraduate, and he completed an internship at Al Jazeera America and later worked for that network.


Director and writer Reshad Kulenovic’s work focuses on conflict zones. His short film, SNOVI, played at 20 international film festivals and was honored by the Academy Awards. In 2015, Kulenovic released a documentary called 100 Million Dollar House, which was distributed by Al Jazeera.


“The film de-centers the stereotypical media perspective on conflict and takes into account long-range ramifications of multiple voices,” said Kulenovic, a URI graduate who majored in film media. “The film focuses on the two-way trauma experienced by both the Palestinian civilians living in the occupied city of Hebron and the Israeli soldiers sent to control it.”


Hebron is one of the holiest places for Jews and Muslims and is a microcosm of the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The annual lecture, named for the 1983 URI alumna and 1995 URI honorary degree recipient, was created following a generous gift from Amanpour in 2006, establishing an endowment to fund an annual journalism lecture in perpetuity at URI. Amanpour is the chief international correspondent for CNN international. She is also the anchor of Amanpour, a nightly foreign affairs program on CNN international.


The speaker series, in its 8th year, helps URI bring well-respected journalists to campus. The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Journalism and the Harrington School of Communication and Media.


Dominick LaFerrera, an intern in the department of marketing and communications and a communications studies major, wrote this release.