Warner Bros International is readying its first Spanish-language pictures in the next phase of its drive into local-language production in Europe.

According to Simona Benzakein, Warner's newly appointed vice president of European production, the multinational is studying the possibility of opening a Spain-based production office, much like it has done in France under the leadership of Francis Boespflug, and in Germany under Willi Geike.

According to Benzakein, Warner is currently completing "business production plans" for Italy and Spain which will see the company co-produce an unspecified number of films per year with local production partners and local talent. The films will be made on "European budgets." Distribution through local Warner outlets is not guaranteed.

Warner's European plans also encompass acquisitions for select territories. Benzakein recently negotiated the pick-up of Spanish, Latin American and Japanese rights to Cannes winner The Son's Room (La Stanza Del Figlio) by Nanni Moretti.

Benzakein's statements were made in Madrid during a seminar on The International Promotion of European Cinema, sponsored by artists' rights organisation SGAE.