Screen International is teaming up for the fourth consecutive year with the Hollywood Film Festival and the Hollywood Awards to present the Hollywood World Award, a prize for the best in world cinema which will be presented at the Hollywood Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Oct 22.

The award has become a key predictor of foreign films which are set to receive kudos in the year's awards season.

Last year's winner was Pedro Almodovar's Volver and its star Penelope Cruz accepted the award.

Previous winners were Mrs Henderson Presents in 2005 and The Motorcycle Diaries and The Sea Inside in 2004.

A panel of international judges consisting of critics, festival directors and impartial executives chose the shortlist of films last year which included The Lives Of Others, Pan's Labyrinth and The Queen.

Qualifying films must have their world premieres between Sept 18, 2006, and Sept 16, 2007, encompassing this year's crop from all the major film festivals.

This year's panel of judges has already been confirmed.

Chair of the panel is Screen's US editor Mike Goodridge, who is also vice president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The 2007 panel of judges consists of:

- Teresa Cavina (Italy)
International program manager (directing committee), Rome International Film Festival
- Dan Fainaru (Israel)
Film critic, Screen International, Globes Daily & Cinematheque Magazine
- Manuel Grosso (Spain)
Director, Seville Film Festival
- Nicole Guillemet (US)
International festival producing and programming consultant
- Jim Hamilton (Canada)
Director of festival center programming, Toronto International Film Festival Group
- Sandra Hebron (UK)
Artistic director, The Times BFI London Film Festival
- Allan Hunter (UK)
Film critic, Screen International & The Daily Express (UK)
- Tobias Kniebe (Germany)
Film critic, Sueddeutsche Zeitung
- Derek Malcolm (UK)
Film critic, The Evening Standard
- Richard Moore
Executive director, Melbourne International Film Festival
- Despina Mouzaki (Greece)
Director, Thessaloniki International Film Festival
- Jacob Neiiendam (Denmark)
Head of programming, Copenhagen International Film Festival
- Jonathan Romney (UK)
Film critic, Screen International & The Independent On Sunday
- Ilda Santiago (Brazil)
Director, Rio International Film Festival

The Hollywood Film Festival presented by Starz is also looking to screen as many of the films as possible. Its final deadline for submissions is Aug 20, although should a film be shortlisted it would be eligible for screening in the festival. This year's festival runs from Oct 17 to 22.

'We are very excited and proud that Screen International and its team will be joining with the festival to honour film-makers from the global creative community,' stated festival founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu. 'We want to ensure that we bridge the gap between established Hollywood and world cinema by showcasing films during the 11th annual Hollywood Film Festival.'

'The Hollywood World Award highlights all the major international films of the year including upcoming world premieres at Venice and Toronto,' added Mike Goodridge. 'We are excited to be giving the cream of the crop their first exposure to the Hollywood community at large.'

Screendaily will be posting updates on the Hollywood World Award throughout the summer, naming the jury which will vote on the year's best films and announcing the shortlist in the first week of October.

The Hollywood Awards ceremony itself is one of the most glittering nights in the film calendar. At last year's event, attending luminaries included Clint Eastwood, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Sandra Bullock, Oliver Stone, Forest Whitaker, Penelope Cruz and Debra Winger.

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