Experiencing Interruptions?

Positively Beautiful

Five strangers facing death from AIDS form an unlikely friendship that transforms them into extraordinary activists. They struggle against shame, suicide and isolation. Fifteen years later, against all odds, they are still alive. Their friendship becomes a remarkable story: a quiet victory of meaningful, beautiful lives in an evolving South Africa.

  • Diveena Cooppan
  • Ian Cheney
    The Search for General Tso, The City Dark, King Corn, Truck Farm
  • Diveena Cooppan
  • Thembi Zungu
    Key Cast
  • Zanana Jonah
    Key Cast
  • Ntuthu Mxalisa
    Key Cast
  • Khaya Mavengana
    Key Cast
  • Nomfundo Xoyteni
    Key Cast
  • Jan De Groot
    Key Cast
  • Lee Jackson
    Ghost of the Ganges, Strike Back 2, Nothing But the Truth, Skitterwit, Blood Hunt, Speed Kills Jungle
  • Soweto Gospel Choir
    WALL-E (Down to Earth)
  • Berita AfriSoul
  • Diveena Cooppan
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 1 minute 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 3, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    95,266 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Africa World Documentary Film Festival
    March 6, 2015
    Barbados Premiere
  • Africa World Documentary Film Festival
    Lagos, Nigeria
    March 20, 2015
    Nigeria Premiere
  • Langston Hughes Film Festival
    Seattle, USA
    April 15, 2015
    Seattle Premiere
  • bfm International Film Festival
    London, UK
    July 5, 2015
    London Premiere
  • Cincinnati Film Festival
    United States
    September 17, 2015
    Ohio Premiere
  • Louisville International Film Festival
    Louisville, Kentucky
    United States
    October 2, 2015
    Kentucky Premiere
  • Durban International Film Festival
    South Africa
    June 16, 2016
    South Africa Premiere
  • Yanaya Gender Film and Dialogue Festival
    Rural communities across the country
    South Africa
    August 26, 2016
  • Global Health Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 11, 2016
  • Equality Film Festival
    December 8, 2016
    Ukraine Premiere
Director Biography - Diveena Cooppan

Diveena Cooppan is a filmmaker from Tongaat, South Africa. Inspired by her work in HIV and her friendship with members of the HIV activist community, Diveena recognized the need for a film that told the personal story of living in South Africa in the age of HIV. One that was not created primarily to educate but rather to share with South Africans and the world the very real experience of living with a life threatening disease. So Diveena, formerly an Occupational Therapist working in psychiatry in South Africa and London and a public health practitioner stepped into the world of documentary film making to produce and direct Positively Beautiful. Diveena is also a veteran professional dancer and is currently based in Oakland, CA.

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Director Statement

I grew up in Apartheid South Africa and film allowed me to experience a world beyond the segregation and isolation. Now that I am no longer limited to the role of spectator, I want to share the many powerful stories that would otherwise not be told.