CineAsia gets underway forthe first time in Beijing today (Dec 13) with an opening address from MPAA CEODan Glickman and a screening of Chen Kaige's The Promise which opens across China later this week.

Zhao Shi, vice minister of China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television,is also a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony which is being held in theGreat Hall of the People.

The three-day event - which hasregistered an 11% increase in exhibitors compared to last year's show inBangkok - is also set to screen Fox's WalkThe Line, Buena Vista's TheChronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, UIP's King Kong and Warner Bros' Rumor Has It.

Fox, UIP and Buena Vista will also be showcasing promo reels during theconvention. Security at all screenings will be tight given China's problems with piracy. Delegates have been warnedthat no recording devices of any kind will be allowed into screening venues andpeople carrying bags won't be admitted to the Grand Auditorium or the Great Hallof the People.

Piracy across the whole ofthe Asia Pacific region will be under the spotlight at a seminar on the openingday. The conference programme also includes a panel entitled "China Exhibition:Applying the Global Experience to the China Market" and a seminar on digitalcinema - also a hot topic in China which has become a world leader in installing digitalscreens.

CineAsia will also host aproduction conference sponsored and hosted by Beijing-based Ming Productionswith Fortissimo Films' Michael Werner acting as consultant. The two-day event(Dec 14-15) includes panels on bringing Asian and Chinese cinema to the world;where to shoot in mainland China; how to set up co-productions with China, andthe role of money, agents, festivals and lawyers in Asian production.

Speakers at the productionconference include Columbia Asia's Barbara Robinson, Warner Bros' EllenEliasoph, Sundance festival director Geoffrey Gilmore, Celestial Pictures'Philip Lee and CAA's managing director, China, Peter Loehr.

The show wraps on Thursdaywith a banquet and awards ceremony themed around "Celebrating 100 Years ofChinese Film".

Honorees include FoxInternational co-presidents Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus (distributors of theyear), Shanghai Film Group's Ren Zhonglun (exhibitor of the year), director XieJin (lifetime achievement award), China Film Group's Yang Buting (special achievement award), CJ Entertainment's Miky Lee (distinguishedrecognition award), Nansun Shi (producer of the year), Jiang Wen (internationalmale star of the year) and Stephen Chow (director of the year).