QUEER VOICES
06/11/2014 12:33 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Chris Mason Johnson's 'Test' Is A Groundbreaking Gay Drama Set In The World Of Modern Dance (VIDEO)

HuffPost Gay Voices is proud to present this exclusive clip from Chris Mason Johnson's "Test," the award-winning, hotly anticipated new film that's been hailed by critics as "delightful" and "deeply rewarding."

Set in San Francisco in the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, "Test" centers on young dancer Frankie (Scott Marlowe) as he navigates the challenges of being an understudy in a performance troupe, where his classmates taunt him to "dance like a man!"

Meanwhile, Frankie also begins a relationship with veteran dancer Todd (Matthew Risch), who plays the bad boy to his innocent. Together, they face a world of "risk, hope, humor, visual beauty and musical relief," according to press materials.

"TEST isn't about getting sick or being sick; it's about the fear of disease," Johnson told The Huffington Post. "It's a universal theme but heightened because the early AIDS epidemic was insane. And while the shift to fear may sound like a small thing, it’s actually big when you consider every other AIDS movie has focused on death and dying. Maybe that's one of the reasons audiences seem happy after TEST. They don't expect the genuine hope that comes out of it."

"As a former dancer –- and ‘former’ is kind of silly because it never leaves you –- I have strong feelings about how dance is done on film," Johnson adds. "My favorite dance sequences all have this balance between respecting the fully framed body but also cutting the image for dynamic punch, which is what we tried do in TEST. I like the way dance is shot and cut in 'Cabaret,' 'Hair,' The Red Shoes,' 'Pina,' 'Pennies From Heaven' (Christopher Walken!), 'Swing Time,' 'Saturday Night Fever' and the Lindy Hop sequence from 'Helzapoppinn'’. I want to do more with dance on film, that's for sure!"

"Test" hits select theaters in New York and Los Angeles on June 13. Head here for more information.

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