Moderators (c) Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka


Moderator Mr. Panagiotis Trakaliaridis
Head of Strategic Program Development – ZDF, Germany

Has been with ZDF for 15 years, currently Head of Strategic Program Development within the Program planning department, responsible for the channel’s timeslot profiles and improving the channel’s format strategy. From a media management and communication background, he started at ZDF’s Program planning department as a long term scheduling- and acquisition strategist. In his current position he is representing ZDF in the Format Group of the European Broadcasting Union, organizing the EBU format expert’s conference “Eurovision Creative Forum”.

Moderator Mr. Nowell Cuanang
Senior Program Manager News and Public Affairs Department GMA Network, Philippines

Is a Filipino journalist who writes, directs and produces investigative and cultural documentaries for one of the biggest TV networks in the Philippines, GMA  Network Inc. He is the only Filipino to win George Foster Peabody Awards, one in 2009 for the documentary “Ambulansyang de Paa” (Ambulance on Foot) and another in 2012 for “Salat” (Bone Dry), as director and program manager respectively. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines, Diliman with a degree in the Arts, Major in Broadcast Communication in 2003 and took International Studies as a scholar at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. At present, Nowell is taking his Masters Degree in Community Development at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Moderator Mr. Athula Disanayaka
TV Producer and Director Documentary Unit, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Sri Lanka

Started his media career as provincial journalist and photographer. He graduated in Colombo University in 1996 and joined the National Television in 1997. He has won several national and international awards (Watarawuma – The Best Current Affairs Program Sumathi Award 2006 and Best Magazine Program Media Award 2007, Udarate Menike – Best Travel Program Presidential Award travel and tourism 2009 and Best Educational Program – State Awards 2010, Schooling Along the Wild Track – Best Television Program Proposal of Japan Prize 2013 and Special Jury Prize ABU TV Contest 2015) and several nominations at numerous television contest for his television programs in a variety of genres. Apart from his television career he engages in photography and writing. Athula has conducted three photography exhibitions. He published the book “Sri Lanka – Miraculous Island in the Indian Ocean” in 2012. Athula was awarded with many scholarships by prominent television institutions in Europe to learn more about television program production. Currently he engages in new travel program series and writing script for his first feature film.

Moderator Mrs. Veronika Mendler
Project consultant, Goethe-Institut Headquarters in Munich, Germany

Started with a traineeship is now project consultant within the film, television and radio division of the Goethe-Institut headquarters in Munich. With regards to content, she focuses on the topics of refugees as well as children, teenage and documentary film. Before her time at the Goethe-Institut, she was active in the film business working as a freelance video-journalist for several documentary productions. At the local broadcasting unit afk TV, she gathered experience and could realize a number of short documentary reports and portraits. She studied cultural anthropology with an emphasis on film as well as linguistics and media sciences in Munich. During her studies she realized her first documentary film.