Alex de la Iglesia, the incoming president of the Spanish Film Academy, is planning to tackle piracy and improve the quality and distribution of local film during his tenure.

Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily, he said he wants to recover the respect for the Spanish film industry that has been hit hard by piracy and improve distribution of local titles at home and abroad.

The director of The Oxford Murders, who takes on the presidency later this month, is planning to hold discussions with distributors, exhibitors and sales agents over the next few months in a bid to help develop and promote the industry.

“We have a lot of talented directors and producers in Spain, and I want to make sure they are happy working here. Too often we see local film makers doing well and then leaving straight for Hollywood.”

In terms of tackling piracy, de la Iglesia says that the industry needs to work with internet service providers to stop people accessing illegal content but that the industry also needs to find alternatives, such as simultaneous release patterns.

Speaking at the Madrid De Cine event, he also confirmed that Kiefer Sutherland will play the role of Philip Mortimer in his new English-language criminal thriller The Yellow Mark.

Sutherland and Hugh Laurie had been rumoured to take the lead roles in the $34m Spanish (Tornasol Films)- French (La Fabrique De Films) co-production, but de la Iglesia confirmed that only Sutherland has so far signed on. It will shoot later his year.