Top Spin

Directors: Mina T. Son, Sara Newens
Year: 2014
Running Time: 80 minutes

Inside a cramped gym tucked behind a California strip mall, the clacking sounds of hollow plastic balls whirling at 80 mph are punctuated by exclamations of victory and bitter cries of defeat. Welcome to the hidden world of competitive ping pong. In 2009, Michael Landers became the youngest ever U.S. Men’s Singles Champion at 15 years old. A year later, Ariel Hsing achieved the same feat when she was crowned Women’s Singles Champion, also at 15. High school sophomore Lily Zhang holds the highest world ranking for her age group and is closing in on Ariel’s title. In a sport with no professional league and where national champions earn less than “beer pong” champions, these fiercely driven teenagers remain committed to their passion. With devoted parents by their side, they have traded in normal teenage life for a chance to represent their country on the world’s biggest athletic stage: the Olympics. An inside look at an offbeat sport, Top Spin turns one of America’s favorite pastimes on its head and reveals a coming-of-age story where success and failure come down to mere millimeters.

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Salem FilmFest
American Documentary Film Festival
TIFF Kids International Film Festival
Florida Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
Montclair Film Festival
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Top Spin
Top Spin
Top Spin