The Spanish government has said its plans to clarify and regulate television investment in local films more strictly in the future.

The move could help appease the film sector, which last week released a seven-page statement detailing a series of measures urgently needed to boost the Spanish film sector, including stricter regulation of the 2001 law obliging broadcasters to invest 3% of their annual income in Spanish product. The Spanish Producer's Association FAPAE sees the move as a positive step forward in negotiations for stricter enforcement of the law.

The film sector statement calls for "mechanisms which allow the Administration to oversee the fulfilment of the regulations and, as necessary, impose corresponding sanctions." The statement further demands "transparency" from the broadcasters.

Spain's minister for science and technology Josep Pique told Congress that the government would elaborate a decree to define more clearly and track those investments. Pique suggested "there are varying interpretations of what producers, the Film Academy and the broadcasters think" the investment requirement refers to.

The 3% towards Spanish product forms part of Spain's 2001 cinema law and represents 60% of the existing obligation on broadcasters to invest 5% of their annual income in European feature films, short films and TV movies. The law specifies the funds should be earmarked for Spanish product shot in any of Spain's official languages.

The film sector statement - which was signed by the Spanish Film Academy and representatives of actors', directors', technicians', producers', and rights' associations, among others - denounces the "impossibility" for Spanish films to "compete under equal conditions in their own market" due to the Hollywood studios' control of the channels of exploitation. The recommended measures call for specific government action concerning feature film financing, especially TV backing and subsidies, distribution and exhibition in all windows.