Ping Pong Summer, the independent film produced and shot entirely in Ocean City, MD this past fall has recently received a $50,000 grant for postproduction efforts and responsibilities. More than 160 films were considered to receive the San Francisco Film Society’s Kenneth Rainin Foundation grant; only six films were selected as winners.

The San Francisco Film Society’s Kenneth Rainin Filmmaking Grants are awarded two times each year to select filmmakers.
Along with Ping Pong Summer, five other productions received $50,000 grants from the Film Society’s Kenneth Rainin Foundation. The East County, Fruitvale, Los Valientes, Short Term 12, and The Undeniable Charm on Sloppy Unruh were the other recipients. Each production was granted the money to be used towards the next stage of their production.
“This is an incredibly diverse group of films, featuring filmmakers who demonstrate a true focus towards their community and an eager willingness to collaborate. Throughout the review process, we were impressed by the brave choices made by these artists both in terms of emotional engagement and subject matter. It’s also deeply satisfying to attract such a wide range of high quality work from all over the country with these grants, and contribute to the expansion and development of the already robust filmmaking scene here in the Bay Area,” said the panelists  whom reviewed the 13 finalists’ submissions and chose the winners.
All films who have won the grant have explored similar topics: discrimination, human and civil rights, gender and sexual identity, or other social issues affecting individuals of our time.
Ping Pong Summer tells the story of a 13-year-old, shy kid, Rad Miracle, who is only interested in two things: ping pong and hip-hop. The film is set in 1985. The production was filmed entirely in OCMD – where, according to the plot line of Ping Pong Summer, Rad Miracle’s and his family vacation yearly. Miracle is the target of local bullies. While on vacation, he finds an unexpected mentor in his neighbor and becomes ‘funky fresh’.
Ping Pong Summer stars Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, John Hannah, and other child-stars (many of which were recruited during local Maryland casting calls.
Writer-director, Michael Tully, and Producer, George Rush accepted the $50,000 grant on behalf of their film. The grant will be used for post-production processes.
“Team Ping Pong Summer is honored and humbled to receive this gimungously gracious grant…,” said a representative from the Ping Pong team on their Facebook Page earlier this month.
To learn more about the Kenneth Rainin Grant or the San Francisco Film Society, visit them on the web.
Photo of Michael Tully and George Rush with actor from Ping Pong Summer from the San Francisco Film Society’s blog.
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