Stars shine at Moscow Film Festival

Hollywood stars Will Smith and Charlize Theron are among hundreds of A-list celebrities who appeared at the opening of Moscow’s 30th International Film Festival. The blockbuster 'Hancock' premiered on the opening night.

Thousands of movie industry professionals are expected to attend the event over the next ten days.

Distinguished Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano has also arrived in Moscow.  He received an honourable award at the opening ceremony.

The programme includes 200 films, 16 of which will compete for the festival's main prize, the 'Golden St. George'.

In the main competition programme Russia is represented by two movies: “The Cherry Orchard” by Serguey Ovcharov and “Once Upon a Time in the Province” by Katya Shagalova.

The festival belongs to the same A-category as the Venice Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival. But it's just beginning to gain international repute. Now it's one of the biggest movie festivals in the world.

And it's the second oldest in the world. It dates back to 1935 but was put on hold until the late 50s when it was held every two years.

Since the year 2000 it's been an annual event.

The organisers say the festival is aimed at promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding among different countries, as well as developing co-operation among the world's filmmakers.