In today’s Global Bulletin, Hugh Grant recalls doubt over Renee Zellweger’s casting in the now iconic role of Bridget Jones in a BBC2 documentary; RSVP and Guilty By Association team on a new Indian spy thriller; the Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival will honor Juliette Binoche and Hayao Miyazaki while Natpe recognizes Disney exec Diego Lerner; and Defunct Films makes “We Will Sing” free to stream with donations going to Irish homeless organizations.

ANNIVERSARY

1.2 million people in the U.K. tuned into Tuesday night’s broadcast of “Being Bridget Jones,” a documentary marking the 25th anniversary of Helen Fielding’s first “Bridget Jones” column in U.K. newspaper The Independent and 20 years since the first “Bridget Jones” film.

“Being Bridget Jones” included Fielding discussing her inspirations, how the character’s legacy has changed since the #MeToo movement and how the “Bridget Jones” series changed the way women’s stories are told in mainstream media.

The documentary also includes bits featuring the real-life friends who inspired many of her fictional characters, as well as interviews with the film’s stars Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. In the special, Grant recalls that prior to the film’s 2000 release there was some doubt about Zellweger’s casting, particularly her accent.

“There was a whole scandal about ‘Why isn’t this a British actress?’” he recalled. “I didn’t know Renée Zellweger, and a Texan playing a British character, it did seem like a stretch.”

FEATURE

India’s RSVP and Guilty By Association are collaborating on a new period spy thriller series titled “Mission Majnu,” based on one of India’s most ambitious espionage operations. Set in the 1970s, the film will adapt an historic mission which took Indian agents into the heart of Pakistan and still impacts the relationship between the two countries today.

Parveez Shaikh, Aseem Arrora and Sumit Batheja penned the screenplay, and filmmaker Shantanu Bagchi is on board to direct, making his feature debut.

Actor and international style icon Sidharth Malhotra (“Hasee Toh Phasee”) will star with Rashmika Mandanna (“Geetha Govindam”) set to make her Bollywood debut. Filming is scheduled for early 2021.

AWARDS

The third annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival will honor French actress Juliette Binoche at Jan. 7’s online award gala, recognizing her support for young filmmakers and short films throughout her career. In total, 18 filmmakers will take home prizes on the totaling more than $50,000.

Binoche will open the ceremony before participate in a 10-minute interview from the set of Claire Denis’Radioscopie,” in which she will discuss the importance of cultural diversity in filmmaking and how it has related to her own career.

The ceremony will also include a musical tribute to renowned Japanese filmmaker and anime pioneer Hayao Miyazaki performed by his favorite singer, Azumi Inoue.

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Juliette Binoche Credit: ©Jorge Fuembuena

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The Walt Disney Company Latin America president Diego Lerner will be honored at Natpe 2021 with the Premio Ícono award, presented by World Screen.

According to the publication, the honor is in recognition for Lerner’s “significant contributions to the Latin American media industry across his storied career.”

Celebrating his 30th anniversary with the company in 2020, Lerner has been key in building and sustaining the group’s operations across Latin America. In the past, Lerner also headed Disney’s operations in EMEA, and most recently oversaw the launch of Disney Plus in Latin America and the Caribbean.

CONCERT

Scott Altman’s Defunct Films has released “We Will Sing,” a lo-fi, fly-on-the-wall documentary featuring Academy Award-winner Glen Hansard (“Once”), to stream for free at https://www.wewillsing.ie/, with all proceeds going to support Ireland’s homeless population via the Peter McVerry Trust and The Simon Communities.

The music-led experience documents a one-of-a-kind event which unspooled in Dublin on Christmas Eve 2013 as musicians packed into legendary Irish music venue Whelan’s after it had closed for the evening. There, the artists combined for an historic impromptu session.

Dublin-born, London-based director Altman was in Whelan’s that evening and, sensing something special in the air, picked up his camera and recorded the evening’s revelries.

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We Will Sing Credit: Defunct Films

https://variety.com/2020/film/global/hugh-grant-zellweger-bridget-jones-helen-fielding-bbc-2-1234874127/