Via Zoom: Idella Johnson & Hannah Pepper of ‘Ma Belle, My Beauty’

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CHICAGO – After garnering a major honor at the Sundance Film Festival – the Audience Award in the NEXT category – “Ma Belle, My Beauty” made an impression with its intimate look at polyamorous (group of three) lovers, particularly the lead actors portraying the two women, Idella Johnson and Hannah Pepper.

What happens when singer Bertie (Johnson) can’t sing anymore? Her collaborator husband Fred (Lucien Guignard) calls her ex-lover Lane (Pepper), as they were part of a He-She-She relationship before their marriage. The mystery of the connection between Bertie and Lane is the key to this film, a delve into the physical and chemical connection between people and the messy emotions that get in the way. The acting is pitch perfect, and Idella Johnson’s singing voice is heaven on earth. Writer/director Marion Hill creates many hallways to go down in this three-way consortium

Idella Johnson (left) and Hannah Pepper of ‘Ma Belle, My Beauty’
Photo credit: Sundance Film Festival

Idella Johnson began her acting journey in 2010, and as mentioned does all her own singing in “Ma Belle.” It is her sixth feature film as an actor. Hannah Pepper makes a feature film debut, after winning the role through writer/director Marion Hill. The film will also be showcased next month at 2021 South X Southwest Film Festival.

In Part One of an interview Via Zoom with Patrick McDonald of, Idella Johnson and Hannah Pepper talk about the elements of creating Bertie and Lane, the polyamorous lovers in “Ma Belle, My Beauty.”

In Part Two, filming intimate scenes and working with writer/director Marion Hill is reflected upon.

“Ma Belle, My Beauty” features Idella Johnson, Hannah Pepper, Lucien Guidgnard and Sivan Noam Shimon. Written and directed by Marion Hill. The Sundance Film Festival is presented by the Sundance Institute. For more information click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor, Film Writer

© 2021 Patrick McDonald,

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