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Cannes Festival jury announced

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

The Cannes Festival jury panel for 2013 has just been announced, and it is wide-ranging and gender-balanced. They are led by Steven Spielberg, a movie-maker who needs little if any introduction.

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What do actress Nicole Kidman, director Ang Lee and Christopher Walz have in common?

Apart from their filmy talent, they have been selected to be on the jury panel for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. They will decide which film will win the coveted Golden Palm award at Cannes.

Australian Kidman won the best actress Academy Award for her portrayal of
author Virginia Woolf in The Hours, and also played a bold and sad role in The Paper Boy at Cannes last year.

Taiwan-born Lee's choice of film subjects could be described as nomadic, both in geographical and subject terms.

From his fantasy epic, Life of Pi, the gay cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain, to the Kung Fu epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Christopher Walz, who most recently starred in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards - a satire set in World War Two - and another hard-hitting satire on slavery, Django Unchained.

The other jury members are Indian actress Vidya Balan, who starred in last year's Bollywood sensation, Dirty Pictures; Japanese director Naomi Kawase; Lynne Ramsay, the Scottish director of We Need to Talk About Kevin; French actor/director Daniel Auteuil; and Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, whose two actresses in last year's film Beyond the Hills jointly won the palm award for best actress.

Now we know the Cannes jury for this, and the 19 selected films -- although there could be some last minute add-ons -- the remaining suspense lies in the screenings. The Festival starts on May 15 with the opening crowd-pulling The Great Gatsby, which has been remade by Baz Luhrmann starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

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