BARNSLEY Sixth Form College students were treated to an in-depth insight into the world of film and television from a former a Barnsley College student, award-winning director and screenwriter.

Rowan Athale is a former student at Barnsley Sixth Form College and progressed from being a runner on a film production set, to making adverts for TV.

He wrote, directed and produced his debut film The Rise, which earned him a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Award.

He then directed the feature length films Strange But True and Little America.

Rowan, 38, returned to his hometown to speak to the students about his career and the cinematic influences which have inspired his work, also answering questions on the future of the film industry and the experience of working with his idol Sylvester Stallone.

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Rowan said: “I hope the students gained an insight into the inner workings of film and television and what lies ahead for them should they choose to work in the industry. I was honest about how difficult the path to becoming a film maker would be for them while also encouraging them to understand that ‘difficult’ doesn’t mean impossible. If they are aware of the hard work ahead and still passionately want to become film makers, they have won half the battle.

“I learned that young people have a passion for and a sophisticated understanding of film and the industry, which is hugely encouraging.”