The second Beijing International Film Festival concluded on Sunday, with industry insiders hoping that the festival will create a new global perception of Beijing and the Chinese film industry.
As the birthplace of China's first film "Mount Dingjun" and home to many of the top names in the domestic film industry, Beijing has used the festival as an opportunity to share the country's film industry with the world and turn itself into a globally significant cultural capital.
"China needs a platform like the film festival to increase the power of its film industry and spread its culture,' said Li Qiankuan, director and chairman of the China Film Association.
Contracts signed at this year's festival amounted to 5.2 billion yuan (837 million U.S. dollars) in value, an 88.7-percent year-on-year increase. The amount is greater than the value of the contracts signed at any film festival in the country's history.
Representatives from 600 film institutions and more than 2,000 film professionals, including legendary director James Cameron, attended the festival.
"The festival will prove to be a milestone in the history of Chinese film development," Cameron said.
The festival received a great deal of support from the municipal government of Beijing as well. The country's leaders have made efforts to encourage the development of the country's cultural industry, as it is expected to become a pillar of the Chinese economy over the next five years.
"Film is the best carrier of culture. Chinese culture could be diffused through the process of communicating and colliding between different cultures," said Yu Dan, a professor at Beijing Normal University.
"The film festival should combine the country's cultural and historical essence. Unique ethnic, regional and cultural characteristics will help it survive and thrive," said Zhang Huijun, president of the Beijing Film Academy.
Next year's festival will feature a competitive component, as such competitions are part of international custom and the "soul" of a film festival, Li said.
John Textor, chairman of U.S. special effects company Digital Domain, said he was impressed by the festival, adding that he wishes to introduce his company's technology to the Chinese market.
The development of Beijing's film industry is good news for world filmmakers, Cameron said. The director said he is working to forge relations with more Chinese filmmakers.
The festival will become an increasingly important event in the global movie industry and Beijing is likely to become a world-class film center in its own right, he said.