Spanish language film Volver is in the running for six prizes at tonight's European film awards.

The Pedro Almovodar drama starring Penelope Cruz is favourite to claim the accolades of best film, best director and best actress from the European Film Academy, with the ceremony taking place in the Polish capital Warsaw.

German film The Lives of Others is also in the running after receiving six nominations, while Ken Loach's The Wind that Shakes the Barley has been nominated five times, including in the best actor category for star Cilian Murphy.

Murphy's performance in Breakfast on Pluto has also put him in contention in the same category.

Loach's film walked away with the Palme d'Or in Cannes six months ago, while Cruz and her female co-stars shared the best actress gong at the French film festival for Volver.

New James Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen is up for best actor for his role in After the Wedding, while The Road to Guantanamo by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross has received nominations for both best film and best director.

Meanwhile Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski is due to pick up a lifetime achievement award in the country where he spent his youth.

The European film awards, now in their 19th year, are seen by many as the continent's answer to the Oscars.

02/12/2006 18:52:47