Having officially entered the local production sector last year, Buena Vista International Spain (BVIS) is negotiating a potential slate of five to six new co-productions for 2003.

The multinational, which distributed the country's top grossing domestic hit this year: The Wrong Side Of The Bed (El Otro Lado De La Cama), has beefed up the number of local films it handles in Spain thanks to its new co-production activities.

"We used to distribute those films which we could pick up in the market, but truthfully it wasn't very many," says Alvaro Zapata, BVIS' vice president and assistant general director. "We knew this was our weak link, although we had handled some relatively important Spanish films. That's when we began producing."

Now, Zapata says, "We are increasingly less interested in acquiring Spanish films and more interested in co-producing them because, logically, we can participate in every aspect of the business."

Among the titles in the works is School Of Seduction (Escuela De Seduccion) director Javier Balaguer's follow-up to acclaimed domestic abuse drama Only Mine (Solo Mia). The romantic comedy is a co-production with Balaguer's own Troto International and is being prepared for a 2003 shoot.

Other projects include Blue Legend co-production Muertos De Amor (working title), a romantic thriller set to star Jose Coronado and Antonio Resines, the acting duo behind current box office hit The 507 Box (La Caja 507), for a January shoot. Jose Coronado is also expected to star in La Provincial, a co-production with World Fiction being prepped for a February or March shoot based on a script by Alberto Serrano.

BVIS has three other co-productions in negotiations: two with producer Pedro Maso - Maso's own One Million In The Trash (Un Millon En La Basura) and Eva Lesmes' Lovers (Amores) - and Wrong Side Of The Bed scripter David Serrano's feature debut, Football Days (Dias De Futbol), now in pre-production with Bed co-producers Telespan and Telecinco.