Film-makers Carlos Saura and Zoya Akhtar received the award on 12 July at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid
• The awardees are film-makers Carlos Saura and Zoya Akhtar. The award recognises their work in bringing Spanish and Indian culture closer.
• The event took place on 12 July at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid and was attended by a number of personalities from the fields of business, culture and politics.
• The ceremony was also attended by the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo; the Ambassador of India to Spain, Vikram Misri and the Foundation's Chairman, Antonio Escámez.
• The Spain India Council Foundation Award was presented to personalities such as orchestra conductor Zubin Mehta and chess player Viswanathan Anand in former editions.
• The SICF is a private foundation that has been working to strengthen relations between Spain and India in different areas since 2009 with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
The Spain India Council Foundation hosted the awarding ceremony of the III Spain India Council Foundation Awards on 12 July at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. The award was jointly presented to film-makers Zoya Akhtar and Carlos Saura.
Queen Letizia presided over the ceremony and presented the awards, which recognise the work of people or institutions who stand out for their contribution to bilateral relations between Spain and India in different areas or for initiatives to foster mutual knowledge.
Spanish director Carlos Saura is quite popular in India and his film-making career has received many awards at the most prestigious film festivals. His interest in researching the origins of flamenco in India has opened new ways of cultural exchange between the two countries. His latest project, the show “Flamenco-India”, is a good example of this.
Zoya Akthar is the director of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, set in Spain and which offered a very appealing image of the country. The film was very successful among the public and obtained several awards, which increased the interest of Indian society in Spain. As a result, the number of Indian visitors to Spain grew.
The ceremony was attended by the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo; the Ambassador of India to Spain; Vikram Misri; the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ybañez; the Foundation's Chairman, Antonio Escámez; representatives of SICF's patrons and a number of Spanish and Indian personalities from the fields of business, culture and politics. The awardees were presented with a sculpture (‘Fire-Wind’) by the artist Enrique Mesonero.
In its first edition, the award was presented to Indian orchestra conductor Zubin Mehta, and in the second, to former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand. Both times, the awards recognised the values embodied by their careers and their status as public figures and a symbol of rapprochement between Spain and India.
About the Spain India Council Foundation
The Spain India Council Foundation is a non-profit private institution created in 2009 whose mission is part of Public Diplomacy with the support of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, complementing foreign affairs from a civil standpoint.
The Foundation's goal is to strengthen bilateral relations in the fields of economy, culture, education and science, and create permanent attention towards India in Spain and the other way around.
Its Board of Directors includes institutions such as banks, companies, universities and City Councils that stand out for their bilateral activity and commitment with India. Some government departments are also part of this Board, represented by senior officials, which facilitates dialogue and public-private partnerships.
The Foundation organises a number of activities as part of its Plan of Action such as the Spain India Forum, whose second edition will take place soon; the Indian Leaders Programme and this Award. In addition to this, it also organises seminars, meetings and round tables and collaborates with other institutions on different events and projects in line with its goals and purpose.