Local Film Enthusiasts Gather to Screen ‘Ping Pong Summer’

Published: May 06, 2015

Local Film Enthusiasts Gather to Screen ‘Ping Pong Summer’

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Fans of independent film came together Friday, May 1, to screen “Ping Pong Summer.” The screening was hosted by the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Department of Communications and Media, South Texas Cinémathèque, and the Art Museum of South Texas.

“Ping Pong Summer,” by filmmaker Michael Tully, centers on Rad Miracle, a shy, 13-year-old white kid obsessed with two things; ping-pong and hip-hop. During his family’s annual summer vacation to Ocean City, Md., Rad makes a new best friend and experiences his first real crush. He becomes the target of rich, local bullies, and finds an unexpected mentor in his outcast next-door neighbor.

“Ping Pong Summer” first premiered at Sundance 2014 and was picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures and home release on DVD and Blu-ray by Millennium Entertainment

 “There are more movies in the world than ever before, and so it's very difficult to make a mark, but to find distributors who believed in us enough to distribute our movie was indeed very exciting,” said Tully, of the DVD release. “People say this all the time, but in the case of ‘Ping Pong Summer,’ the making of the film was really a dream come true.”

Tully is an Austin-based filmmaker who has been named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. “Ping Pong Summer” is Tully’s fourth film. He debuted with the film “Cocaine Angel” at the 2006 International Film Festival Rotterdam. His second film “Silver Jew,” premiered at the 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival, and “Septien” premiered in 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival.

At Friday night’s screening, the audience took part in a question-and-answer session with Tully.

Tully told the audience that he came up with the idea for “Ping Pong Summer” in the spring of 1992, while a senior in high school.

“I wrote dozens upon dozens of drafts over the years, yet the core premise never changed,” Tully stated.

“My overriding goal was to insert my own upbringing and adolescent interests, summer beach vacations, ping pong, and rap music, into the type of Hollywood comedy I was watching in the 1980s.”

South Texas Cinémathèque, a collaborative screening series run by the Texas A&M -Corpus Christi Department of Communication and Media and the Art Museum of South Texas, is designed to broaden media students' exposure to independent film by bringing internationally recognized filmmakers to Corpus Christi, for discussions, screenings, and lectures. The series gives students rare opportunities to interact with internationally recognized film artists while broadening their understanding of the filmmaking process.