TheEdinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), which opens tonight with theworld premiere of Douglas Mackinnon's The Flying Scotsman, is introducing a newset of awards at its 60th anniversary event. The new Diamond Awardswill "acknowledge excellence in cinema in celebration with the spirit of EIFF."

Theinaugural recipients are actors Sigourney Weaver and TildaSwinton, documentary director D.A. Pennebaker, and the film-making teams of Mike Leigh andSimon Channing Williams and Ken Loach and Rebecca O'Brien.

Awardspresentations will be made at various times during the festival (Aug 14-27)with the five UKrecipients getting their awards at the informal Directors Drinks on Aug 19.

"TheDiamond Awards are meant to celebrate outstanding contributions to worldwidecinema and we feel these inaugural recipients perfectly exemplify this and setthe tone for any future awards," said Shane Danielsen,EIFF's artistic director. "We are particularlypleased to acknowledge the creative partnerships that underpin excellence infilmmaking with the awards to Mike and Simon and Ken and Rebecca."