Nigel Cole's highly anticipated Calendar Girls is set to make its world premiere at the Locarno International Film Festival (Aug 6-16), as an outdoor screening in the Piazza Grande in front of a potential audience of 7,000.

The high profile, public screening is seen by distributor Buena Vista International as an ideal venue to showcase the film, which is viewed by many industry figures as a crowd pleasing comedy drama with huge break out potential.

The world premiere screening will take place on August 9 in Locarno, ahead of its September 2 charity premiere in the UK. The film opens in the United States in December.

The $10m Calendar Girls, about a group of conservative middle aged women who strip for a charity calendar, has already enjoyed successful industry screenings at Cannes and at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam.

At Cinema Expo, the film was tipped by one major exhibitor as "the new Full Monty."

The Harbour Pictures production stars Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.