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FPdGi Awards

Actor Antonio Banderas and biochemist Carlos López-Otín to open the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony

Miriam Reyes, Juan Zamora, Héctor Gómez, Damià Tormo and the British NGO Teach a Man to Fish will receive their awards on 29 June


Actor Antonio Banderas and biochemist Carlos López-Otín will be hosting the opening of the 2017 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony, which, presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain, will bring more than a thousand attendees – most of them young people – together on 29 and 30 June at the Girona Conference Centre. Banderas and López-Otín will inaugurate the event on Thursday evening which includes a panel discussion moderated by the journalist Julia Otero. Managing young people’s talent will be the central theme of the events organised to celebrate the end-of-year party of the Foundation’s three main programmes.

Both Banderas and López-Otín have been invited to speak to the young audiences expected to fill the Auditorium to share their experience of channelling their life passions into their different professions. Antonio Banderas, after being involved in almost a hundred cinematographic projects, is now using his personal brand to support social projects. Carlos López-Otín has applied his imagination and creativity to scientific processes to decipher 60 new human genes involved in ageing and in cancer. Both speakers are, therefore, excellent examples of how to use creative talent to benefit society.

Also participating in the 2017 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony with Banderas, López-Otín and Otero will be actor and director Àngel Llàcer (who presented the winner announcements in March and April this year), humourist Juan Carlos Ortega and award winners from previous years Luz Rello (2016 FPdGi Social Award), Héctor Colunga (2015 FPdGi Social Award), Guadalupe Sabio (2012 FPdGi Scientific Research Award) and Alberto Enciso (2014 FPdGi Scientific Research Award). The voice of the soprano from Córdoba Auxiliadora Toledano (2013 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award) will accompany the attendees during the ceremony.

 His Majesty the King will give his traditional address to close the Awards ceremony.

The 2017 edition of the FPdGi Awards will give talented young people a leading role, not only in the audience but also on the stage. These include representatives of some outstanding participants in the Foundation’s programmes, such as Lucía González and Mercè Feliu, the members of an emerging jazz combo Sant Swing Bocombo and the young dance company from Colegio Santa María la Blanca (Montecarmelo, Madrid), which will be performing The journey of the butterflies.

The detailed programme for the event is available at: https://premios.fpdgi.org/programa/.


The 2017 Awards

The Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, with a prize of €10,000 and a reproduction of a sculpture by artist Juan Muñoz, recognise the work of young people aged between 16 and 35 years, and that of an organisation working for young people, which this year, for the first time, has been awarded to an international organisation.

The respective juries, formed of recognised experts in each of the categories, as well as previous award winners, meeting in different cities around Spain (Córdoba, Barcelona, Soria, Santander and Figueres), decided to honour in this eighth edition of the Awards the artist from Córdoba Juan Zamora (FPdGi Arts and Literature Award), the engineer from Galicia Héctor Gómez (FPdGi Scientific Research Award), the architect from Cadiz Miriam Reyes (FPdGi Social Award), the biologist from Valencia Damià Tormo (FPdGi Business Award) and the British organisation based in London Teach a Man to Fish (FPdGi International Organisation Award). Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain will present the awards to the winners during the ceremony on Thursday 29 June.

Developing mathematical models and algorithms to predict the growth of prostate cancer in a personalised manner; creating a polyphony of meanings in the artistic field that are not bound to just one culture; seeking solutions in such a complex area as autism; connecting the world of research with successful business initiatives, and promoting an educational project capable of breaking the cycle of poverty by fostering entrepreneurship are some of the contributions that the winning young people and organisation in 2017 are making in our society.


A programme dedicated to managing talent

The Awards ceremony will be followed the next day, 30 June, with the annual celebration of the FPdGi’s other flagship programmes: Educating entrepreneurial talent and Talent rescuers. Both events invite teachers from all over Spain who are promoting entrepreneurial education projects at their centres, as well as young people and mentors involved in professional development activities. The writer, public speaker, entrepreneur and expert in global innovation trends Mark Stevenson will warm up the audience with his inaugural speech on the second day. Stevenson, founder of the League of Pragmatic Optimists (LOPO), which promotes positive thinking, will talk about the transformation of society into a collective business that needs people who approach life with energy, responsibility, leadership and teamworking skills.



Antonio Banderas. Since his introduction to American cinema in the highly acclaimed Mambo kings, Antonio Banderas has irrefutably been one of the leading international actors of his generation. He has received critical praise for his performances in film, television and theatre, as well as behind the scenes as a feature film director. In 2005, he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His second directorial feature was the Spanish film El camino de los ingleses (titled Summer rain in the USA). A coming-of-age story, the film follows the first loves, lusts and obsessions of friends on holiday at the end of the 1970s. Banderas made his directorial debut with Crazy in Alabama, starring Melanie Griffith.

In 2003, Banderas earned a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theater Company production of Nine, a play directed by David Leveaux and co-starring Chita Rivera which was inspired by Fellini’s 8½. He also received a Best Actor Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award and Theatre World Award.

Banderas has worked with some of Hollywood’s best directors and leading actors in films such as Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado opposite Salma Hayek and the sequel Once upon a time in Mexico opposite Johnny Depp; Original sin opposite Angelina Jolie; Alan Parker’s Evita opposite Madonna, for which he received his first Best Actor Golden Globe nomination; Martin Campbell’s The mask of Zorro opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones, for which he received his second Best Actor Golden Globe nomination; Neil Jordan’s Interview with a vampire with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt; Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia opposite Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington; Bille August’s House of the spirits with Meryl Streep and Glenn Close; and Brian de Palma’s Femme fatale. His performance as Pancho Villa in HBO’s production of And starring Pancho Villa as himself earned him his third nomination for the Best Actor Golden Globe.

Born in Malaga, Spain, Banderas attended the School of Dramatic Arts in his hometown, and after graduation he began his acting career, working in a small theatre company based there. He later moved to Madrid and became an ensemble member of the prestigious National Theatre of Spain.

In 1982, Banderas’ opportunity to move to the big screen came when Pedro Almodóvar cast him in Labyrinth of passion. It was the first of six films Banderas would make with Almodóvar, including Matador, Law of desire, Tie me up! Tie me down! and Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The international success of these films catapulted him towards Hollywood. The director and the actor were reunited later in The skin I live in and I’m so excited.

Banderas has also participated in other cinema productions, such as Autómata, Knight of Cups, The expendables 3, SpongeBob 2, Machete kills, Justin and the knights of valour, Ruby Sparks, Haywire, Black gold, Puss in boots, You will meet a tall, dark stranger, The big bang, The other man, Shrek 2, Shrek the third, Shrek forever after, the Spy kids trilogy, Miami rhapsody, Four rooms, Assassins,Never talk to strangers, Two much, The 13th warrior, Play it to the bone and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.

The actor can also be seen in The 33, directed by Patricia Riggen and starring Juliette Binoche and Rodrigo Santoro. Banderas’ forthcoming projects include the action movie by Simon West Salty, opposite Olga Kurylenko, Black butterfly, with Piper Perabo and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and the action movie Security, by Alain Desrochers. More recently, Banderas has signed an agreement to produce Stoic, by Isaac Florentine, with a cast that includes Paz Vega, Karl Urban and Robert Forster. He has also just announced that he will star in the feature film by Aleksandr Boguslavskiy Beyond the edge and the Andrea Bocelli biopic The music of silence, directed by Michael Radford.


Carlos López-Otín is chair of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Oviedo, where he combines his teaching work with the development of research lines into cancer and ageing. The work produced by the group he leads has resulted in the discovery of more than 60 new human genes and an analysis of their role in tumour progression and in other normal and pathological processes. In addition, he has contributed to the annotation of the human genome and the genomes of other organisms of biomedical interest. Since 2010, he has co-directed the Spanish contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium, which has already managed to decipher the genome of hundreds of cancer patients. His most recent work includes the discovery of two new accelerated ageing syndromes, the identification of new genes that cause sudden death and hereditary melanoma, the definition of the molecular keys to ageing and the proposal of new possibilities for the metabolic control of longevity.

Carlos López-Otín is an academic of the European Academy and the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, and doctor honoris causa from various Spanish and foreign universities. During the course of his scientific career he has received several awards, such as the European FEBS Biochemistry Award, the DuPont Life Sciences Award, the Carmen and Severo Ochoa Award, the Mexico Prize for Science and Technology, the King James I Award for Research and the Santiago Ramón y Cajal National Research Award.



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