Directed by Sara Newens & Mina T. Son
With dreams to represent the United States in the 2012 London Olympics, Ariel, Lily and Michael have to face a lot more than just training and competing in the growing sport of table tennis.
TOP SPIN documents the lives of three teenage star athletes as they prepare for the Olympic trials, all while having to balance expectations from school, family and friends. Paired with their complicated lives — as they struggle with friends, SATs and college applications — is the fast pace of pingpong balls filmed in slow motion and the anticipation of whether they’ll be able to become world leaders in the sport. Since they were younger, their passion and commitment toward table tennis have been the defining factors for their futures. However, it’s not all a dream when the ordinary pressures of adolescence begin to affect the mental and emotional concentration required to play the intense sport. At the same time, their journeys to the London Olympics have the capacity to make table tennis less of an overlooked sport in the United States.
– Diana Li
Co-Presenter: Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center
Executive Producer: Jonathan Bricklin, Franck Raharinosy
Producer: Mina Son
Editor: Sara Newens
Music: JJ & Chris
Cast: Ariel Hsing, Michael Landers, Lily Zhang