SHANGHAI (AFP) - The 18th Shanghai International Film Festival opened on Saturday with a strong Asian flavour in movie selections and a bevy of Chinese stars striding down the red carpet.
The festival, founded in 1993, is featuring more than 380 movies from nearly 50 countries, according to organisers.
But China dominates with 80 films, almost double the number by closest competitor the United States.
"The Shanghai International Film Festival has always focused on films outside the Hollywood film system," Fu Wenxia, managing director of organiser Shanghai International Film and TV Festivals Co, told AFP.
Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who is at the festival for her film Lady Of The Dynasty in which she plays Tang dynasty concubine Yang Guifei, stood next to her co-stars Leon Lai and Wu Chun on the red carpet.
Action star Jackie Chan slapped hands with journalists while former boxer Mike Tyson, who appears in gongfu film Ip Man 3, shouted "Hello" in Chinese and posed with co-star Donnie Yen.
Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok, who stars in Chen Kaige's Monk Comes Down The Mountain, carried a child dressed as a Taoist monk in his arms.
Others at the opening included Korean actor Song Seung Heon, Hong Kong's Simon Yam and Derek Yee, who is the director of the festival opening film I Am Somebody, Thailand's Tony Jaa and Taiwan's Eddie Peng.
From Hollywood came Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike.
The Shanghai festival has earned a reputation for catering to movie fans while a similar event in Beijing which started in 2011 tends to attract bigger entertainment names and government officials. But commercial hub Shanghai does not aim to compete with political centre Beijing to be China's film capital, Fu said.
"The Shanghai International Film Festival in not in competition with the Beijing International Film Festival, or any other film festival worldwide," she said by email. "February is Berlin's moment, April is Beijing's moment, May is Cannes' moment, and June belongs to Shanghai."
Shanghai is offering some selections in line with the country's political aims, including movies under the theme On The Silk Road as China pushes to build on the ancient trade routes on land and sea.
A group of films solely from the BRICS countries comes as China urges greater political and economy unity between Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa.
The festival will also commemorate the end of World War II, or as described by the official programme: "The Chinese People's 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Anti-Japanese War".
Hollywood will be represented with all six Star Wars films and more recent blockbusters such as American Sniper about United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Gone Girl, based on the novel of the same name.
US studios are keen to get a bigger piece of the Chinese market, the world's second-largest box office outside North America with revenue of US$4.8 billion (S$6.45 billion) last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.
But foreign films entering China come under an annual quota of just 34 annually and face censorship by cultural authorities who excise content deemed politically sensitive or obscene.