Entertainment briefs – April 8

Justin Bieber showed he is more than just slick dance moves when the international singing sensation joined a training session with Spanish football club Barcelona on Thursday.

Bieber trains with Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain — Justin Bieber showed he is more than just slick dance moves when the international singing sensation joined a training session with Spanish football club Barcelona on Thursday.

A night after playing a sold-out show in the Catalan capital, the 17-year-old pop phenomenon from Stratford, Ont., suited up to train with the Spanish champions at their training ground.

Barcelona says on its website that Bieber — clad head-to-toe in the club’s green training kit — displayed good technique and a deft left foot as he practised with Bojan Krkic, Thiago, Benja and B-team goalkeeper Ruben Mino.

Bieber missed Barcelona’s 5-1 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Camp Nou stadium on Wednesday.


School project turns into Hanna

TORONTO — An assignment for a Vancouver Film School student has exploded into a multimillion-dollar action movie opening in theatres across North America this weekend.

Twenty-nine-year-old Seth Lochhead says he wrote the script for the thriller, Hanna, as his final school project in 2005, imagining Cate Blanchett in one of the lead roles.

And now, roughly six years later, his adventure tale has turned into a star-packed film featuring Blanchett, as well as Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana.

“It was kind of a whirlwind,” Lochhead said Thursday of his swift rise to the limelight.

The idea for the dark chase film began with an image Lochhead had at age 24, of a little girl running through the forest, hunting deer.

From there, it developed into a rough script about a teenager raised in isolation by her father to be the perfect assassin.


Tina Fey expecting second child

NEW YORK — Tina Fey is expecting her second child.

Her publicist confirms that the 30 Rock star announced while taping an appearance of The Oprah Winfrey Show on Wednesday. Fey is about five months pregnant. Her Oprah appearance is scheduled to air next week.

Fey and her husband, composer Jeff Richmond, are also parents of a five-year-old daughter, Alice.

The 40-year-old actress-writer is currently promoting a new memoir, Bossypants.


Artists look to web to for funding

TORONTO — When Victoria-based indie filmmakers Jen and Victoria Westcott looked to fund their upcoming movie, Locked in a Garage Band, they didn’t turn to traditional industry sources —they went online.

Through Kickstarter.com, which encourages Internet users to chip in to help artists launch their projects, the sisters raised $20,000 to get their production rolling.

In exchange for a pledge — typically a user can give anything between $1 to $10,000 — donors get some kind of thank-you gift in return. A $25 donation toward helping Locked in a Garage Band netted supporters a DVD of the film and other goodies, while $10,000 was good for an executive producer credit, a signed script, tickets to the film’s premiere and a bunch of swag.

Victoria Westcott said they actually got one large donation of $7,000 and were amazed by how generous and supportive the online community was. The film could not have been made without their help, she added.

“This means we can afford to pay our cast and our crew more, which of course they deserve,” she said.


Lady Gaga to return to Video Awards

TORONTO — Lady Gaga will return to this year’s MuchMusic Video Awards, two years after stealing the show with a performance that ended with sparks flying from the singer’s bustier.

The 25-year-old pop oddball is the first performer announced for this year’s bash, which will be held in Toronto on June 19.

Last year’s show was hosted by Miley Cyrus and featured performances by Katy Perry, Drake and Justin Bieber.

The timing of the MMVAs appearance will work out well for Gaga.

On May 23, she’s due to release her second full-length CD, Born This Way.

The title track has already hit No. 1 on the charts in Canada and the United States.

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