Hosting Bollywood extravaganza, International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) celebrations, in Madrid is likely to lure Indian filmmakers to explore the destination's picturesque locales, says Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena.
"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, " Carmena said in a statement.
"On one hand, that will generate jobs and, on 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, " she added.
Madrid was officially announced the host of the 17th edition of the IIFA gala, which will be held from June 23 - 26.
Bollywood stars Anil Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Sonakshi Sinha, along with officials of Wizcraft International were in Madrid for a meet and greet, during which they joined in a Bollywood flashmob too.
IIFA will celebrate IIFA Rocks Fest; IIFA Stomp, an exhibition of urban trends; and the magnificent IIFA Awards. During the Weekend, The Global Business Forum will also be held organised by Ficci and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce,
In order to get IIFA 2016 to Spain, Madrid City Council has worked along with the support of Comunidad de Madrid, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Education Ministry and the Indian embassy.
This is the fourth time that IIFA will be held in Europe. Earlier, it was hosted in London, Yorkshire and Amsterdam.
Anil, who is known internationally for starring in "Slumdog Millionaire", "24" and "Mission Impossible 2", said: "I know the importance of bridging cultural divides. "
Hrithik applauded IIFA's vision of "overcoming boundaries and reaching out to an international audience for Indian films".
"I have some very fond memories attached to Spain while we were filming for 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara'. I am thrilled to come back to Spain, " he said.
Sonakshi shared that the event is "an excellent opportunity for us, the film community, to connect with fans and take our cinema across the globe. Madrid is a thrilling city, and I am looking forward to experiencing another spectacular IIFA in another amazing destination. "
The 17th IIFA Weekend will play host to some of the most celebrated stars of the Indian film industry, notable guests, and dignitaries from India and the region, world media and Indian cinema fans from across the globe.
Andre Timmins, director, Wizcraft International, said: "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 focused 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. . . 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. "