Source AP ©

Kevin Spacey visits Hugo Chavez

During the meeting of american actor Kevin Spacey and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the former praised the government's efforts to support film-making.

Spacey met with Chavez over dinner Monday night, and state television later carried footage of the actor saying the country's film studio offers Venezuelans a valuable opportunity to "make films about their own country and their own culture."

"I think every country should have this," said Spacey, who earlier visited the US$13 million (9.2 million EUR) film studio founded last year by Chavez's government.

Spacey - who has won Academy Awards for roles in "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty" - shook hands warmly with Chavez on the red carpet as he left the presidential palace.

He was scheduled to travel next to Cuba, the Venezuelan government said in a statement.

Chavez has said Venezuela hopes to produce its own films as an alternative to the "cultural imperialism" of Hollywood. But the leftist leader also speaks highly of some Hollywood films, and has hosted recent visits by stars including Sean Penn and Danny Glover.

After Chavez's government recently offered US$18 million (12.7 million EUR) to finance "Toussaint," a film directed by Glover about Haitian independence leader Toussaint Louverture, Venezuela's two independent film organizations said the money could be better spent making more Venezuelan movies.

Chavez insists Venezuela will be doing plenty of that - "making movies about our reality, which reflect who we are, what we've been."

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