The Spanish government has issued its 'Cinema Law' which, among other measures, requires broadcaster-affiliated producers to finance a minimum 75% of their feature films as co-productions. It also set up a national watchdog to oversee fair practice in all sectors of the film industry.

The measure will affect top producers in Spain like Sogecine, affiliated to Canal Plus through parent company Sogecable, and Lolafilms, connected to Antena 3 and Via Digital, through backer Admira (Telefonica).

The new decree, initiated last summer, also shortens the time producers have to wait after the release of a film to apply for subsidies related to box office performance..

The cinema law, ratified Friday, officially enters the books as part of the June 2001 Cinema Support and Promotion Law, which re-instated for five years the country's historical screen quota system, obliges broadcasters to invest 3% of their annual earnings in Spanish audiovisual product and codified a series of existing film initiatives.