Dabangg, My Name is Khan up for IIFA awards

Milan Luthria's Once Upon A Time In Mumbai leads the field with 12 nominations for the International Indian Film Academy, to be held in Toronto in June.

International Indian Film Academy awards to be held in Toronto

Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, seen promoting My Name is Khan at the Rome Film Festival in October, is nominated for best actor at the International Indian Film Awards. (Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters)

Milan Luthria's Once Upon A Time In Mumbai leads the field with 12 nominations for the International Indian Film Academy Awards, to be  held in Toronto in June.

The drama about the origins of the mafia in Mumbai is competing for best picture honours against Dabangg, Rajneeti, My Name is Khan and Band Baaja Baraat, organizers announced in Mumbai on Friday.

Ajay Devgan, playing a kingpin of the smuggling underworld in Once Upon a Time, has a nomination for best actor, while Emraan Hashmi as his acolyte and rival has a nod for best supporting actor. Co-star Prachi Desai is up for best supporting actress.

Dabangg, an action film starring Salman Khan, has 11 nominations, including best director for Abhinav Kashyap. Khan is in the running for best lead actor.

The movie was a box office blockbuster in India and has already won several prizes, including the Zee Cine, Apsara and Filmfare awards for best film.

My Name Is Khan, which screened at the Berlin International Film F estival in 2010, looks at the difficulties a Muslim family faces in the U.S. after 9/11. Its star, Shah Rukh Khan, earned a best actor nomination for playing a man with Asperger's Syndrome who travels the country telling Americans he is not a terrorist. The film is also nominated for best director and best story.

Actor Riteish Deshmukh is one of the hosts of the IIFAs, to be held in Toronto in June. (Chaiat Subprasom/Reuters)
Political thrillerRajneeti and Band Baaja Baraat, a romantic comedy set around wedding planning, each have eight nominations.

Bollywood leading ladies up for awards include Kareena Kapoor ( Golmaal 3), Katrina Kaif (Raajneeti ) and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan ( Guzaarish).

The 12th edition of the IIFA conference and awards are scheduled for June 23 to 25 in Toronto, with the gala to be hosted by Riteish Deshmukh and Boman Irani.

Last year's IIFA festivities were staged in Colombo, Sri Lanka. T he awards attempt to build the market for Bollywood films by changing locations each year.

The Toronto ceremony is already sold out and Bollywood-themed events will be staged ahead of the awards.