Hundreds of Indian stars prepared to dazzle their fans Sunday at the "Bollywood Oscars," a glitzy awards ceremony expected to attract 600 million television viewers.
The gala event launched by the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) just eight years ago has become one of the film industry's most-watched events.
Celebrations began Friday with the premiere of "Sarkar Raj" (Absolute Ruler), featuring newly-wed superstars Abhishek Bachchan and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, performing with his father Amitabh Bachchan.
The celebrity couple is up for Best Male and Best Female awards for their roles in "Guru" -- a rags-to-riches story of an Indian businessman.
Vying for the coveted Best Picture award are "Guru," "Chak De India," "Jab We Met," "Om Shanti Om," "Life in a Metro" and "Partner."
At least 500 of Bollywood's biggest names -- including Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Govinda -- have arrived in Bangkok to promote their unique brand of film-making outside India.
But the ceremony at a lavish Bangkok theater, decorated in traditional Thai style, will highlight films that go beyond India's traditional song-and-dance fare.
Stars from suspense thriller "Mission Istaanbul," action movie "Acid Factory" and sci-fi romance "Love Story 2050" will all perform on stage.
Only one special performance, by stars of the romantic comedy "De Taali," showcases a movie that conforms to the traditional Bollywood format.
Although India is the world's biggest film-going nation, cinema tickets sell for a pittance and moviemakers need spin-off music revenue to offset production costs.
"Music is an integral part of it," said "Mission" director Apoorva Lakhia.
"We like our heroes or our action heroes to cry and dance. It's part of our culture and I think music is very important because it's a huge revenue as far as making the money back," he told AFP.
The Indian film industry was valued at 2.2 billion dollars last year, just a fraction of what Hollywood earns in a year, but organizers say that the Bollywood Oscars will help expand audiences around the globe.
The gala has criss-crossed the planet since the inaugural ceremony in London, heading in past years to Amsterdam, South Africa's Sun City and Yorkshire in Britain.