A FILM and TV director visited pupils at a Barry school following a chance encounter.

Mark Tonderai is an international film and TV director who is currently based in Cardiff directing Ncuit Gatwa as the new Doctor Who.

Mr Tonderai has worked with A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Shue and has worked on TV programmes including Gotham and Locke and Key.

When on a flight from Los Angeles to start his job in Wales the director was seated next to Barry's Jonathan Coombs - a teacher at Pencoedtre High School - who used the opportunity to find out if Mr Tonderai could visit the school.

Following a 10-hour flight he agreed to work with the year 13s at Pencoededtre High School on a unit of work which fits into their current A-Level syllabus and film and TV script writing.

Upon meeting the A-Levele class, Mr Tonderai claimed to be "more nervous... than meeting any BBC executives."

Work carried out at the school, with Mr Tonderai's help, includes:

  • Writing and developing scripts;
  • Pitching a script to TV executives;
  • Directing students in the finished piece;
  • Working with sixth formers on how to work within the TV and film industry.

"Mr Tonderai stressed to all students that education is key," said Mr Coombs.

"No matter where you come from - as long as you have a good grounding and work hard in school - anything is possible.

"He certainly did bring a touch of the Hollywood magic to Pencoedtre High."