FACT OR FICTION: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A PING PONG HUSTLER Makes North American Premiere at SPiN Toronto Today
The North American premiere of Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler, chronicling the final final three years of former international table tennis champion-turned-money player Marty Reisman's life, will be hosted at Toronto's ping pong social club SPiN Toronto today, August 5.
Shot over three years in New York City and directed by Leo Leigh (of the acclaimed Vice film Swansea Love Story and son of British director Mike Leigh), the film shows Reisman as he peruses notoriety through his idiosyncratic lifestyle and inadvertently faced his biggest fear: mortality. Featuring vintage archive and exclusive access to Marty's personal archive of film and images, the film is a must-see for sports and history buffs.
Production for the film was done by UK-based firm UMI, and executive producers of the film include Franck Raharinosy and Jonathan Bricklin who are founding partners, along with Susan Sarandon, of the SPiN Galactic ping pong clubs.
SPiN Toronto will host the first screening of the film for press and friends, before it screens at SPiN New York on August 6 and at SPiN's Los Angeles club, located in The Standard Hotel, on August 7.
"We are excited to showcase Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler here in Toronto. Marty had such an interesting history and life. He, like us, truly loved the game of ping pong," said Ryan Fisher, founder, SPiN Toronto.
The film's observational style, combined with rare archive footage and interviews with key New York and London society characters such as Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson and eminent psychotherapist George Weinberg, works to tell the story of one of America's greatest and most unconventional sports stars at a critical juncture in his life. Addressing the wider themes of mortality, immortality and the pursuit of legacy and legend, the film is sure to appeal not only to fans of sport but the masses as well.
Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler will officially be released on Friday, August 1, and will be available to rent and purchase through iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Sony Playstatin, Vudu, Google Play and YouTube.
Director: Leo Leigh's work focuses on intimate investigations - finding the bizarre within the everyday, his films explore the dissident outsiders on the peripheral of society. His documentary, A Gypsy Pilgrimage, screened at Branchage Film Festival, and previous feature-length films Beautiful Liverpool and Swansea Love Story, shot for Vice TV, received critical acclaim and mainstream media coverage.
Production: UMI (formally Spine TV) was officially formed in 2009 as U-DOX Creative's dedicated moving image department. UMI established its reputation specialising in short-form content - at the forefront of exploring underground subcultures. http://vimeo.com/weareumi
About SPiN Toronto: Launched in September 2011, SPiN Toronto's 12,000-square-foot club features 12 high-quality ping pong tables, Olympic-quality flooring, custom-designed lighting, two full service bars, and a restaurant that offers homemade items crafted with local and sustainable ingredients. SPiN Toronto is open seven days a week, from noon to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and from noon to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Anyone is welcome, and membership packages are available to those who are interested. SPiN Toronto is located at 461 King St. W., Lower Level, in Toronto. http://toronto.spingalactic.com
The kitchen at SPiN Toronto proudly makes all of its food from scratch using local ingredients, Ontario-raised meat and poultry and Ocean Wise approved fish and seafood.
Pictured: Still from Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler