Just a month after the company closed its German production division, Sony Pictures Entertainment's new Spanish production operation, Columbia Films Producciones Espanolas has confirmed two of its first projects in development.

Iona de Macedo, head of the Madrid-based unit since its September 2001 launch, confirmed that writer-director Juan Calvo's Tam Tam, a romantic action-comedy about an unlikely couple who meets on the set of a game show, is the most advanced project in development. It looks likely to be the company's first local co-production this year.

A second script, Mars (Marte), a wacky comedy with sci-fi elements, is being written by David Munoz and Antonio Trashorras, co-scripters of Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone, for Jorge Iglesias to direct.

"These are the kinds of projects we're interested in but we're also developing other genres," says de Macedo, confirming that she is still on track to make one film this year and "hopefully two" next. The original five-year plan envisaged building up to three titles annually on budgets similar to the Spanish average.

Her staff now includes director of development Jordi Gasull, story editor Zacarias de Santiago and production assistant Andres Longares.