Long the capital of the Spanish film and television sectors, Madrid has finally made official the launch of its much-anticipated Film Commission.

An estimated 70% of Spanish films shoot in Madrid, yet producers have long complained of complications shooting here. A large clutch of producers turned out to Friday's presentation to show their support.

Spain now boasts more than 20 film commissions - up from six just three years ago - which, together with projects such as the massive City of Light (Ciudad de la Luz) studio complex in Alicante, are working to promote the country as an attractive and still relatively inexpensive location.

High-profile films to travel to Spain recently include Mary McGuckian's The Bridge Of San Luis Rey starring Robert De Niro and Ridley Scott's now in-production Kingdom Of Heaven, set to move to Andalucia next where it will make use of the also newly-launched Seville Film Office.

Citing the example of New Zealand following the Lord Of The Rings movies, Carlos Rosado, president of the Spain Film Commission, highlighted the importance of facilitating national and foreign shoots in Spain's capital city to strengthen the local media industry, bring in new investment and jobs, and boost the country's image.

Adding weight to Friday's launch, the newly elected president of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, and the city's arts councillor, Alicia Morena, were on the panel of those presenting the new commission, together with the presidents of the commission's three sponsors: the Spanish Producers' Federation FAPAE's Pedro Perez, rights management organisation EGEDA's Enrique Cerezo and the Spain Film Commission's Rosado.