In tennis, measurement – specifically, judging whether a ball is in or out – is particularly crucial. The new ESPN Films 30 for 30 Short “Subject to Review” takes a close look at not just the technology that’s been developed to determine the right calls with better accuracy, but the meaning and significance of that pursuit. The film, directed by Theo Anthony (“RAT FILM”) will air Sunday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. GMT on ESPN Player.
Tracing the history of photographic review back more than a hundred years, and chronicling controversial moments before and after the age of review in tennis, “Subject to Review” explores the mechanisms of the cameras and computerized simulations that now serve as the final word on close calls – but also the limits of the veracity of those calls. Ultimately, it’s a story about technology in sports – but also a study of what we want from our machines, and our minds, well beyond any court of play.
“’Subject to Review’ is about how some images are made and why they’re made that way,” said director Anthony. “It’s a film about the inescapable rift between the world and how we image that world. I hope that audiences can take this small exercise in critical curiosity beyond the world of tennis, giving audiences a little space to look differently at the world.”
“Subject to Review” has screened at New York Film Festival, Hamptons Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival and Mar Del Plata Film Festival.
Theo Anthony is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker whose films have received premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and SXSW. His first feature, “RAT FILM,” was released by Cinema Guild in 2017 to critical acclaim. “Subject to Review” is produced by Sebastian Pardo and Riel Roch-Decter of MEMORY, an independent artist-driven studio specializing in producing and curating innovative, thought-provoking works that push the formal boundaries of their medium. Together, the duo has produced and distributed multiple award-winning fiction and non-fiction films.
Press screeners of “Subject to Review” are available upon request.
About ESPN Films
ESPN Films has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception in March 2008, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports. The high quality of storytelling, highlighted by the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning 30 for 30 series and the Academy-Award winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” has led to record viewership as well as multiple honors and critical acclaim. Additional projects from ESPN Films over the years have included 30 for 30 Shorts, Nine for IX and the SEC Storied series.