Oscar-winning US actressKathy Bates will serve on the jury of the 30th Montreal World Film Festival.The veteran star of stage and screen is best known for her roles in Titanic, where she played "the unsinkable Molly Brown", and Misery(1990), as the tormentor of JamesCaan's author in the adaptation of the Stephen King thriller, a role whichearned her the Academy Award for Best Actress. She was twice nominated forsupporting-role Oscars for Primary Colors (1998) and About Schmidt(2002).

"The festival is pleased towelcome an actress whose tremendous talent has graced so many fine films overthe past two decades," said MWFF president Serge Losique in a statement. "KathyBates will make an excellent contribution to the 2006 Festival jury with hervision of the seventh art and her extensive experience in film and television.Her participation serves to highlight the MWFF's reputation among cinephilesinternationally."

But the announcement of ahigh-profile juror is also important for the MWFF locally, as Losique seeks toundo the damage of nearly three years of infighting within the Montrealfestival world and with Telefilm Canada, a period which saw the launch anddemise of a rival film festival, the ill-fated New Montreal FilmFest.

The 2006 MWFF runs from August24 to September 4.