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Gravitas Scores Sundance Crowdpleaser 'Ping Pong Summer,' Starring Susan Sarandon

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! February 3, 2014 at 2:40PM

Following a warmly received Sundance premiere, writer/director Michael Tully's "Ping Pong Summer" has landed a distribution deal with Gravitas Ventures.
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'Ping Pong Summer'
'Ping Pong Summer'

Following a warmly received Sundance premiere, writer/director Michael Tully's "Ping Pong Summer" has landed a distribution deal with Gravitas Ventures. Gravitas will take the film out theatrically and digitally early this summer, with a home video release later in 2014.

Set in summer 1985 in Ocean City, Maryland, the film centers on 13-year-old Rad Miracle (newcomer Marcello Conte), who aspires to be a master breakdancer, ping pong player and all-around ladies man before the end of summer break. Writer/director and mumblecore pal Tully ("Septien") based the film on his own childhood experiences. It costars Amy Sedaris, Judah Friedlander, Lea Thompson and Susan Sarandon.

THR calls "Ping Pong Summer" "a lingering, entertaining glance back at an era that Americans just can't seem to get enough of," while Paste says it hits its "target audience right in its sweet spot."

This article is related to: Acquisitions, News, Sundance Film Festival, Ping Pong Summer


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.