• Oliver Stone at the 4th Beijing International Film Festival in 2014.

Oliver Stone at the 4th Beijing International Film Festival in 2014. (Photo : Reuters)

After the announcement that French director Luc Besson accepted an invitation to chair the international jury for the "Tiantan Award," the forthcoming 5th Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF) to be held from April 16-23 becomes the next big news in the film industry.

The BIFF event was first launched in 2011 and is now the Asian continent's largest international film event.

Like Us on Facebook

Securing Besson is a major achievement for the BIFF organizers, who also managed to involve celebrated American auteur Oliver Stone at last year's festival. The Frenchman is responsible for an esteemed portfolio of motion pictures that includes "Léon: The Professional" (1994) and his most recent film "Lucy," which broke his personal box-office record by generating $412 million in ticket sales.

China is home to the second-largest film market after the U.S., and now houses a burgeoning domestic film industry--in Shanghai alone, a 95-percent increase in the number of registered films occurred last year.

Also in 2014, 5,397 screens and 1,015 cinemas were added to China's cinema market, while yearly box-office sales figures climbed over the 10-billion RMB mark. China is expected to overtake the U.S. to become the world's biggest film market.

The Chinese and Foreign Film Cooperation Forum (BFM) will again be held as part of the festival. The platform is now compared to the Cannes Film Festival due to the magnitude of the deal-making that takes place. Made possible with the involvement of key industry players, including film studios and film industry associations, the BFM facilitates an international film-exchange process.

At this year's festival, 10 Tiantan Awards will be presented, including those for best film, director, actor and actress, best screenplay, best film score and best visual effects.