About the film

PB 10 Three Huts


At the height of the epidemic, Nomfundo meets Thembi, Khaya, Ntuthu, and Zanana. They form a strong network for people living with HIV in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. As friends and family die from AIDS, they fight harder. Their friendship gives strength to their daily struggles: of having children, battling cancer, and being gay in a homophobic community.

Life is never easy; HIV can make it far harder, yet, these friends share a great optimism. Positively Beautiful shows the beauty of their lives, the strength of their friendship, and their hopes for the future. It challenges the image of AIDS in Africa and shows a country of nuance, courage, and wonder. Positively Beautiful is a story about life, love, and friendship in the age of HIV, one that is complex and inspiring.

Choir    PB 2 Close Up ZJ

Antiretroviral treatment has increased life expectancy and the ability to live a healthy life, but there were almost 1,000 AIDS deaths every day when we began making this film. To this day, out of shame and fear of persecution many people delay starting treatment or stop taking their pills. These five friends share the intimacies of their lives with the hope that they will help break the stigma of HIV as people begin to understand what it means to live with HIV.

Positively Beautiful Screenings

Africa World Documentary Festival (Nigeria, Barbados)

Langston Hughes Film Festival (Seattle, USA)

Black Film Festival (London)

UN Boston Screening

Louisville International Festival of Film

Cincinnati Film Festival

IREP Festival (Lagos, Nigeria)

Durban International Film Festival (South Africa)

Yanaya Gender and Film Dialogue Festival (touring film festival in rural South Africa)

Global Health Film Festival (London)

Toronto South African Film Festival

International AIDS Conference – 2016

Stephen Lewis Foundation – Grannies Campaign (Vancouver)

Boston University Global Storytelling Seminar and Screening