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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 April, 2003, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Soderbergh and Ryan for Cannes jury
Meg Ryan
Ryan is best known for her romantic comedy leads

US actress Meg Ryan and director Steven Soderbergh will sit on the nine-member jury at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Ryan, star of When Harry Met Sally, and Oscar winner Soderbergh will help to judge the winner of the festival's main prize - the Palme d'Or.

The Palme d'Or is among the film world's most coveted accolades.

Last year it was won by Roman Polanski's The Pianist, which went on to land Polanksi the best director Oscar in Hollywood last month.

Steven Soderbergh
Soderbergh won an Oscar for Traffic

The Cannes jury, headed by French director Patrice Chereau, will also include former Miss World Aishwarya Rai, the first Indian actress to become involved.

The panel also features veteran French actor Jean Rochefort, actress Karin Viard, Italian writer Erri De Luca, Bosnian director Danis Tanovic and Chinese director Jiang Wen.

The festival opens on 14 May, and the Palme d'Or winner will be announced at the closing ceremony on 25 May.

Cannes president Gilles Jacob is due to announce this year's official film selection on 23 April.

Futuristic sci-fi sequel The Matrix Reloaded will premiere at the festival on 15 May.

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