David Kosse, President of Universal Pictures International, told the industry gathered at Cine Expo 2010 that he thinks international distribution is set for a growth period in the decade ahead.

Kosse noted that currently international represents about 60% of a film’s business, but in the next 10 years he expects that to grow to 75-80%..

“It’s well within reach,” Kosse said, as he was presented with Cine Expo’s International Distributor of the Year Award. “We are now at the very beginning of what this industry can do.”

Kosse noted that for 13 years he’s been hearing about the growing importance of international markets, but he said now “the tide has finally turned and [international] really is the central point.” He said the first question asked at the start of any studio film is: “Will this play globally?”

Kosse, a veteran of PolyGram and Momentum before joining Universal in 2004, donned a suit and Dutch wooden shoes for occasion.

In taped appearances, he was congratulated by the likes of Judd Apatow, Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Paul Greengrass, Edgar Wright, Ridley Scott, Richard Curtis, Nancy Meyers and Matthew Vaughn. Colleagues at Unviersal including Donna Langley, Rick Finkelstein and Adam Fogelson also paid tribute. Mamma Mia! producer Judy Cramer offered Kosse a pair of silver disco boots, while Ridley Scott said that “the past few months working on Robin Hood has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in my career.”

Also, Cine Expo presented its Achievement in Animated Filmmaking Award to producer Chris Meledandri, whose Despicable Me screened this morning to a bullish response from exhibitors as well as kids brought in for the screening. After 13 years working with Fox, Melandandri said his move to Universal was the beginning of “a great partnership.” He also paid tribute to Kosse, calling him “a great force within Universal and a great force for our industry.”