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Britain, present day. A country confused and divided by the struggle to reconcile the fading glory of the past with the grim uncertainty of the future. In a once great British seaside town, TEA tells the story of Amelia, a young Polish woman living with her father on a rundown caravan park, who is terrorised by two local youths. As Amelia suffers a relentless campaign of intimidation and violence, and with her father seemingly unable to offer any protection, the stakes are raised and she must take matters into her own hands.

  • Sam G T Walker
  • Sam G T Walker
  • Paul Sng
    Sleaford Mods - Invisible Britain, Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle
  • Margit Sauk
  • Maja Laskowska
    Key Cast
  • Jamie Bacon
    Key Cast
  • Craige Middleburg
    Key Cast
  • Bogdan Kominowski
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    17,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Polish
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sam G T Walker

Sam Walker is a director and screenwriter who makes visceral, emotional films focusing on human connection, male aggression and the tension between the two. His films often have social commentary woven into their narrative. He also works in advertising as ECD at Uncommon Creative Studio and as a director at Riff Raff films. He has written and directed award winning work for BBC, Uniqlo, Lastminute.com, and Virgin. He is currently writing his first feature and TEA is his most ambitious short to date.

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Director Statement

TEA is a visceral, emotional portrait of a country tearing itself apart. On the surface it is a thriller, almost Western in structure, but there is also a social commentary running underneath. The main theme of the film is misplaced anger and aggression culminating in brutal self-destruction. TEA is a relentless downward helter-skelter, a parable of the dangers of giving in to the seductive allure of fake nationalism and rage.

We are living in uncertain and dangerous times. More than a decade after the financial crisis, people remain angry and bitter about ongoing austerity. Many have chosen to accept right wing narratives that responsibility for society’s problems rests with immigrants and refugees. History tells us this nearly always ends badly. I wanted to make a film where the whole piece was an allegory, a metaphor for the horror we are walking into. TEA is a timely warning about politics’ current lurch to the far right.

The film centres on Amelia and her widowed father. Although their relationship is strained, Amelia’s love and affection for her father is still evident. Amelia is subjected to a campaign of hate and violence from two local youths, Donnie and Steve, who resent her presence in both the UK and their hometown.

Amelia’s story is terrifying because there doesn’t seem to be any reason for the youths’ aggression towards her, other than that she is not like them. Her main goal is to fit in and live a normal life, but Donnie and Steve refuse to accept this. They are consumed by misdirected aggression and their mistreatment of Amelia forces her to take desperate measures. An eye for an eye leaves the world blind. Hatred breeds hatred.

The film is set in Bognor, the archetypal British seaside resort, the place people imagine when they talk about the way things used to be; a 1950s idealised vision of Britain’s past glory. Its incredible beaches and nature are juxtaposed against a struggling town and tensions with the Eastern European community. Bognor is a distilled picture of the state we’re in. The film also uses a lot of English iconography as a metaphor for a country in peril. The seagulls, the crabs, the fish, fishing nets, previously positive imagery, all have an air of menace and darkness.

Unusually for a British film set in England the dialogue is improvised and almost entirely in Polish. It reflects a growing sense of disconnection within different sections of society. TEA also draws parallels with America’s role in the Vietnam War – an act of aggression that ultimately ended up badly damaging the US. There is a symmetry of the Viet Cong’s bamboo traps and the British seaside bamboo fishing net. The icon of the British seaside, an object normally associated with happiness, turned into an object of violence and horror.