Creating an a breathtaking amalgamation of two richly diverse countries and cultures, the 17th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) annual awards ceremony will be held in Madrid, Spain from 23-26 June 2016. IIFA was previously held in Europe in the cities of Amsterdam, Yorkshire and London.
As usual, the weekend will play host to some of the most celebrated stars of the Indian film industry, notable guests, and dignitaries from India and Europe, world media and Indian cinema fans from across the globe.
To host the event, IIFA is bringing back the dynamic duo of dancer/actor Shahid Kapoor (Haider, Jab We Met) and actor/director/producer Farhan Akhtar (Dil Dhadakne Do, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag). The two brought great entertainment value to celebrations held during the 15th IIFA Awards in Tampa, Florida.
Producer and Creator of the IIFA movement, Andre Timmins, Director of Wizcraft International explained:
"I’m really looking forward to the celebrations this year as we bring together a wonderful gift of opportunity to Madrid – bringing India closer to Spain through the platform of IIFA. Over the years the journey of IIFA has evolved from the film industry celebrations of Bollywood to such a multi faceted event of music, art, culture and business.
"This year our excitement for Spain is strongly focussed in the opportunity to address CSR and environmental issues. IIFA aims to support and benefit the awareness of matters that can inspire people for change. IIFA Yorkshire was the year that IIFA truly established its commitment toward the environment with the world’s first green carpet. We are proud to have continued to do so in several causes of support to organisations such as UNEP, TERI, Oxfam, UNICEF and Habitat for Humanity. It is fulfilling to be able to give back to our host destinations and this year in Madrid we are working on some very interesting subjects to take a stand toward sustainability and a greener tomorrow."
This environmental focus is particularly relevant for one of Europe’s busiest cultural centres and the football capital of the world. Mayor Manuela Carmena highlighted Madrid's commitment to sustainable development in a January 2016 interview with The Guardian:
"The first goal is mitigating the impact that our city makes on the environment. We have pledged a 35-40 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Our mitigation plans include lowering carbon emissions, which means introducing new types of vehicles in the city, and we’ve already seen that with projects such as Car2Go, a vehicle sharing initiative. We’re also trying to revitalise the use of bicycles, and reduce traffic when air conditions demand it. That is why we’ve had city centre parking bans and speed restrictions on days when pollutant levels were excessively high. These measures are part of an overall move towards restricting traffic in central Madrid.
"After mitigation, we have a project to improve energy generation and conservation, which involves setting up new energy sources, insulating homes better and convincing people to use renewable energy, which is an uphill struggle because for many years the state’s prevailing attitude towards clean energy has been very negative. We’re talking about things like producing your own energy, and about waste management."
Bringing IIFA to Madrid will strengthen the opportunities for furture collaboration between Spain and the Indian film industry. In hosting the IIFA 2016 awards, Mayor Carmena commented,
"The fact that the Bollywood Awards will be celebrated in Madrid is very important for the City Hall. It is another step forward in our goal of placing our city in the international picture. The whole combination of activities that are happening during the Awards weekend will make easier the plan of having Bollywood sets in Madrid in the near future. In one hand, that will generate jobs and, in the other hand, we will start building bridges between Indian film industry and the Spanish and Latin America ones. At the same time, it is an unbeatable chance of promoting Madrid on a huge touristic market as the Indian is."
In March, Bollywood superstars Anil Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Sonakshi Sinha visited Madrid to highlight the upcoming IIFA events. Hrithik Roshan posted images from that trip on Twitter.
Meanwhile Sonakshi Sinha provided a video travelogue of the city, highlighting the sites and sounds of the "City With Music In Its Soul".
IIFA recently announced the nominees for this year's awards, highlighting the best and most popular films of 2015. We will post all videos for those nominees shortly.