From education to employment

Established filmmaker returns to Sixth Form

Rowan Athale

Filmmaker Rowan Athale (@RowanAthale) made a virtual return to Barnsley Sixth Form College (@BarnsleyCollege) to give students an insight into his career and the film industry. 

Rowan studied at the Sixth Form College between 1997 and 1999 before establishing himself as a successful filmmaker and receiving nominations for several awards including, the Best Debut Director at the 2012 British Independent Film Awards and the Best Newcomer Award at the 2012 BFI London Film Festival. He was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2013.

Film Studies students heard Rowan’s account of his career journey and his views on subjects such as the effect of COVID-19 on the film industry, the impact of streaming on cinema attendance and the importance of perseverance for those who wish to succeed in film.

Rowan also discussed writing the screenplay for the new Netflix film Outside the Wire and his latest project, a dystopian action-thriller Little America, which is currently in pre-production and will star Sylvester Stallone.

Rowan said: “It’s always good to chat to students from Barnsley Sixth Form College, as I want to encourage them to pursue a career in media, film and television. It is out there for them and I don’t want anyone to think that the media is cut-off from them because of their background or where they grew up. With hard work and perseverance, it’s all there for them.”

Film Studies tutor Kat Thorpe added: “It’s fantastic that Rowan kindly returned to Barnsley Sixth Form College to speak to the students. It’s really inspiring for them to hear first-hand about his experiences working in the film industry and they appreciated him taking the time to answer their questions. We will be following the production of Rowan’s latest film Little America closely and look forward to watching it when it is released. We wish him every success in his future projects. The College transform the lives of our students and helps them fulfil their full potential.”


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