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Ping Pong Bounces into North American Theaters

VIZ Pictures has announced the special North American theatrical screenings of PING PONG, the comedic sports film by director Fumihiko Sori.

PING PONG centers on two friends devoted to the sport of table tennis, and is based on a popular five-volume comic by bestselling artist Taiyo Matsumoto, who also produced acclaimed youth-driven manga titles like BLACK & WHITE, NO.5, BLUE SPRING. PING PONG follows two friends, their two mentors, and three players they face at various high school tournaments. It explores the different motivations and philosophies towards the sport of table tennis and wonderfully portrays the excitement and subtleties of the sport.

Director Sori, who also notably worked as an effects supervisor for the movie, TITANIC, went to great lengths to preserve the visual style of the manga in the film, which ultimately was nominated for eight Japanese Academy Awards in 2003. Actor Shido Nakamura also won the "Newcomer of the Year" award for his performance as Dragon, a rival of the two main characters.

"We are excited to continue to develop the VIZ Pictures catalog with the latest release of PING PONG," says Seiji Horibuchi, president/ceo for VIZ Pictures. "The film is a moving and uplifting story laced with many heartwarming and comedic moments and is an insightful and realistic exploration of both the positive and negative aspects of competition. Ultimately a unique film about friendship, we look forward to North American audiences discovering this acclaimed title."

PING PONG is set to screen in the following cities:

New YorkGeneral Opening: April 6- April 12, 2007THE IMAGINASIAN239 East 59th St.New York 10022

ChicagoGeneral Opening: April 27 -May 3, 2007FACETS CINEMATHEQUE1517 West Fullerton AvenueChicago, IL 60614

SeattleGeneral Opening: May 25- May 31, 2007GRAND ILLUSION CINEMA1403 NE 50th StSeattle, WA 98105

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