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Spacey branching out

Actor and director Kevin Spacey said he sees opportunity for expanding filmmaking in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Spacey spoke about his international outlook during a brief visit to South Africa on Saturday for the premiere of a local short film he helped produce and in which he stars.

With backing from a whiskey company, Spacey ran a contest to find talent from the United States, Russia and South Africa.

A script from each country was chosen, and Spacey starred in and helped produce the three films, including South African Alan Shelley's "A Spirit of a Denture," which was given a red-carpet premiere in Johannesburg.

The 26-year-old Cape Town writer-director's movie is about a workaholic dentist who gets a visit from a pirate.

"There is no doubt that as you start to look around the world, you start to look at the Asia-Pacific region, you start to look at what's happening here, you look at what's happening in European cinema, there's a lot going on," Spacey said in Johannesburg.

Spacey, who is artistic director at London's Old Vic Theatre, added: "I like the idea of going to as many places as possible and (having) as many experiences as you can."


White wades into politics

Betty White says she usually keeps her political views private but in this presidential election strongly favors one candidate.

As she prepares to visit the Smithsonian Institution and National Zoo next week, White told the Associated Press she "very, very much favors" President Obama in the election.

The 90-year-old actress said Friday she is very bipartisan and has stayed away from politics all of her life. She usually never says who she is for or against because she doesn't want to turn off any of her adoring fans.

White says in this year's election, she likes what Obama has done and "how he represents us."

Her comments come after Hollywood turned out at George Clooney's home to raise $15 million for Obama's re-election, a record for a single fundraiser.


Grammy-worthy graduation

The largest independent college of contemporary music in the world has awarded honorary degrees to the Eagles and Grammy Award-winning country singer Alison Krauss at a ceremony in Boston.

The city's Berklee College of Music also has honored influential Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke, an alumnus.

The artists were honored during the school's commencement ceremony Saturday.

Students paid tribute to the artists with a concert featuring their music. More than 900 students from 58 countries graduated from Berklee this year.

Eagles Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit attended but did not perform at the nonprofit school.

Berklee says its alumni include Quincy Jones, Esperanza Spalding, Diana Krall, Joey Kramer, Natalie Maines, John Mayer, Aimee Mann, Branford Marsalis and Melissa Etheridge.

-- From News and wire services