SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore hopes to become the Cannes of Asia in 2011 when it stages the ScreenSingapore film festival, which will premiere Asian films and previews of U.S. blockbusters and, organizers hope, attract Hollywood's A-list.
Those behind the festival, which is scheduled for June, say it is ideally placed between France's Cannes film festival in May and the big Hollywood summer film season.
"Asia is going to be the primary source of growth in the film and entertainment business in the years to come as the focus of the industry shifts from the mature American market to areas outside of the United States," said Greg Coote, chairman of ScreenSingapore.
"Major studios have been looking to Asia for opportunities to expand in this young and exciting market," Coote said.
"As a gateway providing an ideal springboard to the region, Singapore's strong infrastructure and lead in fast establishing itself as a hub for digital distribution make it well-placed to hold this significant event," he said.
ScreenSingapore will run for seven nights and will also aim to serve as a platform for filmmakers and businesses to buy and sell content, ideas and technology.
"We hope to promote greater collaboration between the East and the West. For example, link the filmmakers to the media financiers, so as to create more Asian media and Asian content for the world's consumption," Cassandra Tay, director of communications at Singapore's Media Development Authority, told local media.
Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith