The director of the CorkFilm Festival, Mick Hannigan, has been invited tojoin the European Film Academy.

The 50-year-old Festivalhas also been chosenas a participant in the European Film Academy PrixUIP initiative in 2006.

As a voting member of theEFA, Hannigan will join a membership including LordAttenborough, Ingmar Bergman, Pedro Almodovar,Federico Fellini, David Puttnamand Sir Ben Kingsley.

"I am delighted to beinvited to join the European Film Academy. In recent years significant advancements have been made in thecalibre of European cinema and I look forward to actively promoting the wealthof talent which exists in the European film industry," said Hannigan.

Founded in 1989, the aimof the European Film Academy is to advance the interests of the European FilmIndustry and to increase public awareness of European cinema.

The short film has been anintegral component of the Cork Film Festival since its inception in 1956. In2006 the Cork Film Festival will continue its love affair with the shortandwill beone of fourteen European Festivals to host theprestigious Prix UIP.

The Prix UIP in Cork is open to European directors of films made in2005 or in 2006. The eligible categories are fiction, documentary, animationand experimental film and the film must be no longer than 15 minutes. Thewinning film will receive a cash award of $2,450 (2,000 Euros) and willautomatically be nominated for the European Film Awards.

"For 50 years the CorkFilm Festival has been passionately dedicated to the promotion of the shortfilm and it gives us great pleasure to be chosen to host the prestigiousEuropean Film Academy Prix UIP in 2006.

"The 51st Cork FilmFestival will take place from 8th until 15th of October and we look forward toscreening an eclectic range of Irish and European short films" said Hannigan.