Romantic comedy '2 States' and Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespearean adaptation 'Haider' are leading at with nine and eight nominations at IIFA awards 2015 while superstars Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan are pitted against each other in the best actor category.
'2 States' and 'Haider'
Rajkumar Hirani's inspiring 'PK' earned six nominations and Kangana Ranaut's 'Queen' received 5 nominations for the 16th edition of International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from June 5-7.
The best picture category is dominated by female-centric films like 'Queen', 'Highway' and Priyanka Chopra-fronted biopic 'Mary Kom'. '2 States' and 'Haider' and 'PK' will also compete in the category.
Aamir and SRK are nominated in the best actor category for their roles in 'PK' and 'Happy New Year' respectively. They will face competition from Hrithik Roshan ('Bang Bang'), Shahid Kapoor ('Haider'), Arjun Kapoor ('2 States') and Randeep Hooda ('Highway').
'Queen' and 'Mary Kom' stars Kangana and Priyanka will compete in the best actress category alongside Rani Mukerji ('Mardaani'), Deepika Padukone ('Happy New Year'), Alia Bhatt ('2 States') and Anushka Sharma ('PK').
The best director category has Vikas Bahl ('Queen'), Vishal Bhardwaj ('Haider'), Rajkumar Hirani ('PK'), Abhishek Varman ('2 States') and Imtiaz Ali ('Highway').
The best supporting actor list features Ronit Roy ('2 States'), Riteish Deshmukh ('Ek Villain'), Kay Kay Menon ('Haider'), Randeep Hooda ('Kick'), Inaamul Haq ('Filmistaan') and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah for 'Finding Fanny'.
In the best supporting actress category Tabu is the strongest contender for her powerful role in 'Haider' as Shahid's mother. Other nominees include Amrita Singh in '2 States', Lisa Haydon in 'Queen', Juhi Chawla in 'Gulaab Gang' and Huma Qureshi in 'Dedh ishqiya'.
Govinda ('Happy Ending'), Sharib Hashmi ('Filmistaan'), Sanjay Dutt ('PK') and Varun Dhawan ('Main Tera Hero') are nominated in the best comic actor category.
Riteish and Menon earned their second nomination in the best negative actor category along with Nawazuddin Siddiqui ('Kick')
Bhardwaj is also nominated in the best music category for 'Haider' with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Mithoon-Banjara, Yo Yo Honey Singh and Pritam.
Best lyrics category has names like Manoj Muntashir, Rashmi Singh and Amitabh Bhattacharya while the best playback singer male list has Ankit Tiwari (Galliyan), Arijit Singh (Muskarane), Mika Singh (Jumme Ki Raat) and Sukhwinder Singh (Bismil).
Shreya Ghoshal (Samajhawan), Kanika Kapoor (Baby Doll) and Sultana & Jyoti Nooran (Patakha Guddi) are competing in bestfemale playback singer category.
Bahl, Caitally Parmar and Parveez Shaikh (Queen), Chetan Bhagat (2 STATES) and Abhijat Joshi & Rajkumar Hirani (PK) are in the race for best story.
'It is amazing how Indian cinema is growing strength by strength every year. It has been a spectacular year for Indian Cinema across genres of films and a multitude of talent on and off screen. Some of the biggest films are contending for awards this year and the nominations reflect the talent and achievements of our Indian Film Industry,' said Andre Timmins, Director ¿ Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
IIFA awards are held in a new country every year in a bid to take Indian cinema to different corners of the world.