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I was under the false impression that tonight's screening of Dante Lam's The Viral Factor on behalf of the San Diego Asian Film Festival was a one-shot deal. It's not. The film will play all week at AMC Mission Valley, but there is a reason why it's important that you turn out tonight for the 7:20 p.m. show.

Technically, this isn't one of SDAFF's quarterly screenings; they commence next month. I spoke with the SDAFF's artistic director, Brian Hu, and here is what he has to say about tonight's showing: "It's in the spirit of Chinese New Year, the biggest weekend of the year in Hong Kong for local films, and the weekend the studios roll out their most high-profile films. This is the first time (as far as I can tell) that a new Chinese film is being released in San Diego the same weekend it comes out in Asia for the Lunar New Year, so we wanted to do what the Chinese do: go see a movie!"

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Asian distributor China Lion specializes in day-and-date releases in North America. Knowing that there is no organization in town better suited to sell Asian cinema than SDAFF, China Lion agreed to give them a chance to strut their stuff. The higher the numbers are for the 7:20 showing, the more likely China Lion will partner with SDAFF for future releases of mainstream Chinese films.

Don't forget: SDAFF's screening of Dante Lam's The Viral Factor is tonight at 7:20 p.m. at AMC Mission Valley. Tickets are $12.00 for the general public and $11.00 for seniors.

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