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The phone rang just as I was pulling into the parking stall at Digiplex Mission Valley. "Where are you, man?" a familiar voice growled. "I'm upstairs in a holding area."

When we spoke earlier in the week, 'Tiny' Lister assured me that he was coming to San Diego for the Latino Film Festival's premier of his latest film, K 11. 'Tiny' is a man of his word!

Festival programmer, Glenn Heath, had this bemused "I can't believe this is happening" look on his face as he escorted me upstairs to meet the man. It didn't take long for me to spot 'Tiny's' broad, door jamb splintering shoulders in a crowd.

Shaking hands with 'Tiny' was like sticking my mitt in a vise and meeting him was a thrill beyond compare. If only I had the chance to introduce myself before photogs snapped our picture.

With all due respect to Mr. Lister, 'Tiny' wasn't the main attraction. Fans packed the lobby of Digiplex Mission Valley hoping to get a glimpse of Mexican superstar, Kate del Castillo. Watching the mob funnel its way past the ticket-taker was the closest I've come to a Day of the Locust moment since moving to San Diego.

K 11 was my first introduction to the comely Ms. del Castillo. After seeing her performance as Mousey, the foul-mouthed, tyrannical tranny inmate, it wasn't clear if this crowd, weaned on the actresses popular telenovelas, was ready for such a bold departure.

Meeting Kate in person was a bit of a jolt. Her makeup man should either get an Oscar or prison time.

Allow me a fleeting moment of flagrant self-congratulation. When it was over, I tracked down 'Tiny' to offer one last thank you. "I came for you," he smiled as he shook my hand. "You go me so excited about the Latino Film Festival that I had to come." Thank you, Mr. Lister. Thank you!

There are still many films to be seen at the 20th Anniversary San Diego Latino Film Festival. Join me and fellow critics Brian Lafferty and Yazdi Pithavala this Saturday night at 5pm when we host the San Diego Film Critics Society's presentation of Fecha de Caducidad (Expiration Date).

You still have a shot at seeing K 11. It's the inaugural film when the Media Arts Center opens the Digital Gym, its new screening facility, on March 29. Click for the festival program book and more information.

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Colonna March 11, 2013 @ 5:30 p.m.

Hummina hummina hummina... that's a fine looker next to ya Scott!

And Kate looks good too! Think I was gonna speak ill of Mr. Lister?


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