DIRECTOR and CO-PRODUCER, Diveena Cooppan
Diveena is a filmmaker originally from Tongaat, South Africa. Inspired by her work in HIV and her friendship with members of the HIV activist community, the idea of POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL was conceived. They recognized the need for a film that challenges the traditional image of AIDS in Africa. A film that not only focuses on HIV but also shares the deeply human story of multifaceted individuals dealing with everyday life challenges in addition to a life-threatening disease. So Diveena, formerly an Occupational Therapist working in psychiatry in South Africa and London and a public health practitioner in the US and South Africa, stepped into the world of documentary filmmaking to produce and direct POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL. Diveena is also a veteran professional dancer and is currently based in Oakland, CA with her family.
CO-PRODUCER and EDITOR, Ian Cheney
Ian is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker currently based in western Massachusetts. Ian co-created, co-produced and starred in the feature documentary KING CORN. Ian directed the feature documentary THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE; TRUCK FARM, the story of urban agriculture in New York City; THE CITY DARK, a feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night; and THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO, a feature documentary about American Chinese food. His most recent film, BLUESPACE, explores the terraforming of Mars and the waterways of New York City. In 2011 he and longtime collaborator Curt Ellis were awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for their work in sustainability. In 2014-2015, Ian was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, Lee Jackson
Lee is a South African cinematographer who has shot award-winning features, shorts, music videos, and commercials. His work includes NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH screened at FESPACO (awarded the Silver Stallion) and Durban International Film Festival. GHOST OF THE GANGES for Animal Planet, LIFE FIRST for SABC3 and the BIGGEST LOSER for ETV. He has also served as a cinematographer for EASTERN MOSAIC, EXTREME SPORTS SPECTACULAR TELEVISION SERIES, BAY OF PLENTY and WILD FLY.