The countdown to India's prestigious award ceremony, The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), has begun. Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha flew down to Madrid, Spain, to announce the venue and date of IIFA celebrations this year.

IIFA 2016 will be held in Madrid, which is known as one of Europe's busiest cultural centres and the football capital of the world. IIFA Madrid 2016 will be held from June 23 to 26 and the 4-day extravaganza will include events like IIFA Rocks/MULA Fest, IIFA Stomp, an exhibition of urban trends and the magnificent IIFA Awards.

With the ideal destination to host the gala celebrations, IIFA is all set to unfold and present a wonderful amalgamation of two richly diverse countries and cultures. It aims to bring the art of Indian cinema not only to Spain but to Latin America as well.

Here's what Hrithik, Anil and Sonakshi said while unveiling the IIFA celebrations at the IIFA Welcome Flashmob in Madrid March 15, according to a press release.

"I have been a part of numerous IIFA journeys, but every year is more special than the last year. IIFA really brings cultures together each year and showcases the best of India to the world. Having been a part of 'Slumdog Millionaire,' '24' and 'Mission Impossible 2,' which were watched by international audiences, I know the importance of bridging cultural divides. IIFA 2016 is all set to enthrall the world once again and I look forward to the celebrations in June," Anil said in a statement.

"IIFA is iconic. I applaud 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 to announce the IIFA 2016 celebrations in Madrid," Hrithik said.

Sonakshi commented: "My association with IIFA has been forged since I first joined the industry and it's an event I look forward to every year. It 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."

Also, Manuela Carmena, mayor of Madrid, explained why Bollywood award ceremonies are important for the capital city. "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," she said.

"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," Mayor Carmena added.

Last year, the global celebration of cinema, IIFA, was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.