The60th Edinburgh International Film got underway on Monday evening with the worldpremiere of The Flying Scotsman andthe news that the event has received substantial extra funding.

TheScottish Executive announced that it has allocated an additional $283,462 (£150,000)to the festival that will be dispersed through Scottish Screen. This in turnmeans an extra $94,492 (£50,000) each from the UK Film Council and the City Of Edinburgh Council bringing the additionalfunding for the event to a total of $472,462 (£250,000).

Edinburgh is the world's longestcontinuously running film festival and the 60th edition is the last underartistic director Shane Danielsen. The Festival'spatron Sir Sean Connery is to host a special birthday party in the city on Aug 19.

"Theextra funding is a much needed investment and is an acknowledgement of the EIFF's importance in the arts in Scotland and internationally,"said the festival's managing director GinnieAtkinson. "This represents a significant increase in the public fundingwhich enables us to maximise the impact of the festival and build for thefuture."