An 'explosion of creativity' in the international market has transformed the global film economy, according to Universal Studios co-chairman David Linde.

'A remarkable creative cross-pollination' had meant studios were now working in a diverse market with vital interests stretching from small local films to blockbusters, he told yesterday's Screen International European Film Finance Summit.

Linde said Universal and its subsidiaries were building a business that could work at every level of film-making, beginning with collaboration with increasingly important local producers.

The key was to help films to find their level: 'We don't believe in pigeon-holing opportunities,' he said.

'Local audiences are embracing local stories but many of those stories go on to sustained success beyond their territorial borders.'

National boundaries count for little in this new era, said Linde, who was attending his 20th Berlinale, which he says is 'a true barometer' of the film business.

This year's Oscar shortlist was the perfect demonstration of the globalisation of film with a wide range of nominees spanning the world.

New technology will further enhance the growth of the international business but he warned it also enabled piracy which he maintained is a serious threat to independent film.