Launch of UK-India Year of culture 2017

Monday, 29 August 2016

Ahmedabad: Alan Gemmell OBE, Director, British Council India announced the launch of ‘2017 UK-India Year of Culture’ campaign and a string of other initiatives in Ahmedabad today. On his maiden visit to Ahmedabad, the new Director India emphasised the need to promote cultural exchange and to create educational opportunities for stronger ties between India and the UK. As part of the cultural initiatives, British Council also announced 20films20weeks programme which will showcase some of the best British Cinema between September 2016 and January 2017. While in Ahmedabad, Alan met with academics, artists, authors, creative and social entrepreneurs to talk about the potential of the Year of Culture 2017. He also announced the call for applications for the third phase of UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) with an aim of enhancing educational links between India and the UK Speaking at the event, Mr. Alan Gemmell OBE, Director, British Council India, said, “India and the UK have years of shared history and 2017 UK-India Year of Culture seeks to promote this spirit of cultural partnership. Our future generations must understand and appreciate our past and the path that we have travelled together to reach where we stand today.”

Year of Culture

The year 2017 marks the culmination of four years of Re-Imagine: a programme in the Arts designed to build new creative connections in new ways between the people and institutions of the UK and India. The purpose of UK-India 2017 Year of Culture is to increase the appreciation of contemporary UK in India, and vice versa, in order to give greater focus, depth and relevance to the long-standing relationship between the two countries. This will be done through events and projects, both face-to-face and digital in 2017, with a wider aim to reach out to newer audiences, not restricted to the metropolitan cities alone. The UK-India Year of Culture was announced during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to London in November 2015. The aim of this campaign is to highlight the vibrant cultural history of the two countries and celebrate the best ‘cultural exports’ together.

20 Films 20 Weeks

20 films will be screened in each of British Council’s nine centres and libraries which includes Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bangalore, with one film shown per week from 5 September onwards. Each month will have a specific theme, with a major showcase film for each theme. To mark the launch in September, the films will be screened under the theme Roald Dahl and Youth coinciding with Roald Dahl Day on 13 September. These films are based on two of Dahl’s favourite works including a showcase of Danny Champion of the World and another favourite about a small boy and a huge piece of fruit. Upcoming themes in other months include Women in Film, Music, Christmas & Children, and the films of Ken Loach. Each month will include a number of secret screenings, with films titles only being disclosed at the screening itself. For full film listings in each city, visit here .

UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI)

UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) Phase III has announced the first call ofapplications to support sustainable partnerships in the area of Skills and Research ( The call is under two key strands of the programme: Integration of Skills in Education system and e-Partnership and Research Incubation As a part of integration of Skills in Education system, the calls are announced under the Implementation Arrangement (IA) agreed to establish a cooperation arrangement between the Ministry of Skill  Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), UK for implementation of activities relating to Skills Development. While under the e-Partnership and Research Incubation programme, an Implementation Arrangement (IA) was signed to establish a cooperation arrangement between the Department of Science & Technology (DST) - Government of India and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), UK for implementation of activities relating to Science and Technology, Research and Innovation. UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) started in April 2006 with the aim of enhancing educational links between India and the UK. It has been recognized as a key multi stakeholder programme that has strengthened the educational relations between the two countries and been successful in covering all segments of the education sector.

Mix the Play

‘Mix the Play’, a special edition of the popular ‘Mix the City’ platform (, is commissioned with The Old Vic theatre, London. Where Mix the City placed visitors in the role of a DJ working with Kutiman’s music recordings, Mix the Play will offer digital audiences the chance to play director of one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Visitors to the Mix the Play website are invited to make a short film from a scene in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The duration of a scene is under 3 minutes. Using pre-recorded film samples and effects, locations, costume options, visitors are given a range of elements to control, including a selection or all of casting, setting, direction of the actors, background music etc. Audiences will need to consider meaning, symbolism, tone, and storytelling, and will learn through trying and doing. The objective of Mix the Play is to engage audiences with Shakespeare and educate them about theatre direction in a fun way. In October, we will launch an Indian commission of Mix the Play with a different Shakespeare play.

For more information, please contact:

Renuka Reuben, Head Communications West India at or M: +91 (0) 9820843608.

About the British Council

The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.

We also manage prestigious scholarships and training awards, including the Jubilee scholarships, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the Charles Wallace India Trust awards. Our English language centres in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata provide a range of general and business English classes, specialised skills based programmes and young learner courses. We work with a wide range of Indian partners in cities all over India enabling British and Indian experts to meet and collaborate and to nurture mutually beneficial relationships