An ensemble cast of Namibian actors star in Where Beauty Reigns, a family drama written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker, André Costa which was released earlier this year to streaming service, Amazon Prime.
The feature film is currently on Amazon Prime in the US and UK and expected to be extended to the rest of the world soon.
The film, almost entirely made up of a Namibian cast, features Damien Schutz, Jan-Barend Scheepers, Roya Diehl, Don Stevenson (North-American resident in Namibia), Jeanne-Danae Januarie, Armas Shivute, Lara-Lyn Ahrens, Chops Tshoopara, David Nanub, Odile Gertze, Mathilda Josep, and Luciana Pacheco (Brazilian actress/special guest).
Where Beauty Reigns is set in Namibia and is a contemporary drama with sarcastic humor. The core of the story unfolds amidst a dysfunctional family of German descent (the Kellers). Louis is a teenager in internal conflict with his sexuality. His absent and womanizing father, David, sees his professional life collapse, while his mom, Joann, struggles to have her artistic talent recognized. Louis’ search for answers, amidst his family’s breakdown, leads to uncle Bill. The unexpected arrival of the enigmatic relative rekindles the hope of mending the family triangle while resurfaces historical and cultural constraints. Bill’s partner, Michael, is a psychologist of Herero descent and together they will understand each character´s need and orchestrate an unexpected outcome.
Speaking to NamibInsider, director André Costa says the film highlights the importance of reconciliation despite historical and cultural constraints.
Costa was posted as a Brazilian diplomat (deputy Ambassador) in Windhoek (2015 to 2018) when he had the opportunity to learn about and experience the amazing Namibian multicultural society.
“Being also a writer and filmmaker, I was immediately hooked by the country’s history and astonishing landscape. My curiosity dragged me to study the San culture as much as the dreadful colonial war between Germans and the Herero people. I wrote the story of Where Beauty Reigns to honor today’s intercultural Namibia despite the hardships of its past,” Costa says.
The production of Where Beauty Reigns started in 2017 and it was shot in Windhoek and Swakopmund.
The film features some songs originally composed by Namibian musician Romulus Pieterse. The soundtrack also includes the performance of the traditional ‘Kokure’ by the University of Namibia Choir.
Actress Roya Diehl also sings an inventive and original version of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Smile’ conducted by Romulus Pieterse.
Costa says Sandy Rudd, who did local casting, was a huge asset, and that the Namibian actors have been widely applauded at film festivals. A Namibian premiere is not on the cards yet.
Where Beauty Reigns was produced by Brazilian film companies, Kinobras and The Bridge. See the trailer here.
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