• "Black Swan" Actress Natalie Portman at the 6th Beijing International Film Festival.

"Black Swan" Actress Natalie Portman at the 6th Beijing International Film Festival. (Photo : YouTube)

A-list celebrities flock to the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Center for the kick-off of the Beijing International Film Fest.

The red carpet rolled out for big actors, filmmakers and producers, including Christoph Waltz, Natalie Portman, Giuseppe Tornatore and Iain Smith. Asian superstars Lee Min Ho and Tony Leung were also among those who attended the opening ceremony.

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According to China Daily, about 600 personalities from the film industry were at the gala held on April 16, Saturday.

The festival, now on its sixth year, received a total of 2,329 entries from various countries across the globe. The number of film submissions jumped 53 percent from last year's, China Daily reported.

Currently, more than 500 films are being showcased in theaters, universities and research institutions in Beijing.

Fifteen films for the Tiantan Awards were nominated, with American director Brett Ratner chairing the jury, told Reuters.

On the sidelines of the event was the Sino-Foreign Film Co-production Forum, which featured industry experts talking about the booming movie industry in Beijing and the rest of China.

American producer James Schamus and Hong Kong animator Raman Hui were among the panelists, along with Portman and Tornatore.

International co-production was a hot topic, especially amid the growing presence of Chinese actors and films in the global movie landscape.

"Big changes in the film industry and film production are happening between China and the U.S.," Bona Film CEO Yu Dong was quoted as saying by the Global Times. "On one hand the Chinese film industry is developing rapidly, and on the other hand, the Hollywood film market is showing a tendency toward a gradual decline . . . the executives in Hollywood are making more and more sequels, which helps them avoid mistakes but leads to a lack of innovation."

Yu also said that this slowdown could prompt younger directors to choose China, where the industry is thriving, over Hollywood.