A film which addresses institutional racism and unconscious bias within higher education has been shortlisted for best Educational Film produced by a university or college at the Learning on Screen Awards 2020.
Re:Tension is a 20-minute short film following 19-year-old student, Thapelo, as he wrestles with the idea of whether or not to report racism at his university. It is written, directed and produced by Ricardo Barker, a professional documentary and filmmaker and Senior Lecturer in Film at Leeds Trinity University. The film highlights what institutional racism, unconscious bias and micro-aggression looks like in real life, and the difficulties that arise when choosing how to tackle it.
The Educational Film category is open to any educational film produced by universities, colleges or school sixth forms. It is open to content that has not been broadcast publicly but distributed to viewers or users via any other delivery platform, to educate their audience.
Reflecting on the shortlisting, Ricardo said: “I am so delighted that Re:Tension has been nominated for a Learning on Screen Award, along with being selected for the Festival International du Film PanAfricain de Cannes. It was an exciting challenge to make an inclusive and engaging story about prejudice and microaggressions and I am so very pleased for the production team of Leeds Trinity University students, as well as our talented local actors, who worked hard and contributed much to the making of this short film.”
To accompany the film, Leeds Trinity University presented its educational toolkit, created by Ricardo and Syra Shakir, Senior Teaching Fellow at Leeds Trinity University and Co-Chair of the University’s BAME network. The toolkit was developed to accompany the film, and once finalised will be available for all universities to use as a resource.
Syra said: “Ricardo has produced a powerful film which articulately highlights the everyday microaggressions experienced by people of colour and in particular a young promising student eager to succeed in higher education. The film absorbs the viewer to experience this painful reality and following its screening the ‘Aftermath debate’ can truly begin. It’s within this aftermath space that the training toolkit facilitates open discussion and all of us as peers take responsibility for our own actions, behaviours and make the required changes to tackle racism in higher education.”
The Learning on Screen Awards have showcased the best in educational film and television for 15 years. They celebrate a wide range of broadcast and professional productions and provide a platform for generations of upcoming student filmmakers. The full list of nominees can be viewed here.
You can view the trailer for Re:Tension on YouTube.
Originally due to take place in April, the Learning on Screen Awards have been postponed until Autumn 2020. For more information please visit the website.
For the media
Leeds Trinity University's Communications Officer, Lucy Chaplin, is the first point of contact for local, national and international media.