Asian talent steps into the limelight at Star Summit Asia, the event that recognises and promotes the regional actors and actresses who are the key to the international success of Asia's film industry

Just as in other global film industries, local stars are the fuel that keeps the Asian film industry turbo-charged; the common currency that gets movies made and then propels them into markets across the rest of the world.

Without Asian stars, we would have no Asian film industry, and without talent management we would have no stars.

[To see this year's stars click here]

Yet the actual talent - not to mention the talent management side of the industry - is often overlooked at international film markets and festivals.

Starting last year, the Asian Film Market aimed to rectify this with Star Summit Asia, an initiative designed to bring talent management companies into the fold of a major international film market, and to provide a platform to showcase Asian stars.

By casting a spotlight on this side of the film industry, Star Summit Asia aims to encourage co-production and other forms of co-operation, both within the Asia-Pacific region and with other parts of the world.

As familiarity grows with the available talent in each Asian territory, film-makers, agents and investors will be in a better position to package projects that can travel around the globe.

However, there are many stages in the life-cycle of a star and to reflect this, Star Summit Asia is divided into two sections. Curtain Call presents established stars from across Asia who will share their experiences and increase their exposure to international media and industry professionals. Casting Board aims to introduce Asia's up-and-coming actors and actresses who have the potential to work on pan-Asian or even international films.

In the following pages we profile each of the stars that have been selected by members of the Pusan International Film Festival (October 4-12) and Asian Film Market (October 8-11), based on their own experience and recommendations from the industry and participating talent management companies.

In addition to the talent profiles, we have also outlined the inner workings of the Asian talent management industry in separate overviews for each major territory. Although the film industries across Asia are increasingly working together, their star systems and the methods they use to develop their talent are all unique.

While some of these star pools have already made their impact around the world, others are just beginning to step onto the international stage.

We hope this online report will help explain how these constellations can fit together and how they can benefit the global business of film.

Liz Shackleton, Asia-Pacific editor