The organisers of the Asia Pacific Film Festival have announced that the 55th edition will be held in Shanghai, marking the first time the event has been held in mainland China.

The festival, which will take place September 1-9, will screen films from more than 22 Asian countries and also feature an exhibition of film equipment, a film market, seminars and other related activities. The event will culminate in a red carpet awards ceremony where prizes will be handed out in 15 categories.

Founded in 1954, the Asia Pacific Film Festival is held annually in a country designated by the board of directors of the Federation of Motion Picture Producers in Asia-Pacific.

This year, US and China-based businessman Stuart Worrall has been appointed president and CEO of the festival. It is being held as part of a new event – the China First International Social Culture Festival – with support from the China Social & Culture Development Foundation and the Ministry of Culture’s China Expo Parks.

The organisers said they also hope to increase international participation in the event and will be inviting international stars, production companies and film executives.

“The APFF fully supports the Chinese Government’s plans to promote a greater ‘entente cordiale’ and understanding not only of China, but of all of our member countries,” said Worrall.

“This year we are reaching out to Hollywood and embracing them in our festival to allow not only the submission of some of their best films but also the chance to see some of the most updated and advanced technology and production currently available.”