Experiencing Interruptions?


Re:Tension is a short 20 minute film that follows the character Thapelo, a bright and capable university student, on a day where he is unwittingly forced to question the judgements of his tutors and peers, and delve deeper into his own actions, choices and beliefs.

Re:Tension addresses the topic of institutional racism and the gap in student retention amongst BAME (Black, Asian and Minority, Ethnic) students within British universities. The film was inspired by analysing statistical data that highlighted the unexplained dropout rate of BAME students.
The film attempts to provide an real insight into unconscious racial harassment within the Higher Education system and the micro-aggressions that often go unnoticed.

  • Ricardo Barker
  • Ricardo Barker
  • Ricardo Barker
  • Lladel Bryant
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 7, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Festival International du Film PanAfricain de Cannes
    October 28, 2020
    French Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival Palm Springs
    Palm Springs, CA 92262
    Official Selection
  • Learning on Screen Award
    United Kingdom
    April 18, 2021
    Educational Film Award Nomination
Director Biography - Ricardo Barker

Ricardo Barker is a filmmaker & musician residing in the north of England. He worked for ITV in the UK as a single camera television director before becoming a Freelancer of short-commissioned documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. His passion lies in the cinematic portrayal of narrative drama. He is a Senior Lecturer in Film Production at Leeds Trinity University.

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Director Statement

Re:Tension is a short film that I wrote, produced, directed and scored. I felt compelled to make this dramatised film to provide ‘form’ to the daily actions that go unnoticed and draw attention to the microaggressions that can impact someone’s sense of belonging.

I was keen that the film didn’t resort to lecturing the viewer on what is, and what is not, appropriate behaviour – but instead enable the audience to reflect and provide their own answers to what remains a pervasive scourge within our culture.

The film was inspired by recent publications of survey data into the gaps in attainment and retention levels of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students in the UK. As a result of these findings it is becoming more widely recognised that institutionalised racism prevails throughout many UK universities and other major institutions.