UIP chairman and chief executiveStewart Till was named distributor of the year as Cinema Expo in Amsterdam drewto a close today.

The honour concluded a successfulweek for the company, which earlier picked up a record nine Gold Reel awardsfor films earning more than $100m outside the US.

The company topped the $2bninternational box-office mark last year and Till is hoping War Of The Worlds,which screened in Amsterdam, will be the lynchpin of another record-breakingyear.

"UIP, led by StewartTill's extreme hard work and dedication, consistently exceeds expectations inthe International market," said Mitch Neuhauser, co-managing director of CinemaExpo.

Vue Entertainment chief executiveTim Richards picked up the exhibitor of the year award. His company hascommitted to investment and expansion of its theatres following the acquisitionof the UK's Warner Village cinemas two years ago.

Producer of the year was MediaSalles while Downfall star Bruno Ganz was named the 2005 international star ofthe year.

The final day presentations came from 20th Century Fox International and Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Fox showed James Mangold's Johnny Cash biopic Walking The Line, although its summer will be built around Fantastic Four.The performace of its Russian fantasy Night Watch will be followed closely on the international market.

Sony's Bewitched was the closing film of Cinema Expo. The really big buzz is around The Da VInci Code which won't be in theatres until next year.