Back to IndieWire

Project of the Day: The Early Years of the AIDS Epidemic Explored in ‘Test’

Project of the Day: The Early Years of the AIDS Epidemic Explored in 'Test'

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.


Tweetable Logline:

Dance like a man. San Francisco. 1985.

Elevator Pitch:

TEST is a poignant, powerful story of friendship and hope in a time of crisis, set in the San Francisco modern dance scene of 1985 in the early years of the AIDS epidemic: when headlines threatened a gay quarantine, when nobody knew for certain how the disease spread, when dancers were afraid to touch each other because they might get it from sweat…

Production Team:

Writer/Director: Chris Mason Johnson
Producers: Chris Martin, Chris Mason Johnson
Co-Producer: Laura Heberton
Executive Producers: Jenni Olson, Ian Reinhard, Nelson Gonzalez
Cinematographer: Daniel Marks
Editor: Adam Raponi

About the Production:

“From the trauma of the AIDS epidemic there were stories of suffering and death, and political activism, that needed to be told first. But the early history of the epidemic is big and complicated, and there are untold stories that frame the subject in a different light and need to be heard now as well. TEST is one of these.

“I was there during those years and wrote TEST in an attempt to make sense, through art, of my experience. TEST is a very personal movie with universal appeal. It’s about a journey through dark and difficult times, to safety.” — Chris Mason Johnson

Current Status:

In post-production.

For more information and to support this project:

Kickstarter Page
Film Website

Be sure to check out our curated Kickstarter page for more information on films we think you should support.

If you’ve got a project of your own you’d like Indiewire to profile in the column, fill out this form and contact us!

This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged


Amy Fuhrman

Seems like this will be an interesting look that a particular moment in history. The dance scenes are beautiful. I look forward to this.

Tim G

Ive been looking forward to another film by this director. His first
feature, The New Twenty was great. Can't wait to check out TEST.

Anne Lipton

It's unfortunate there aren't more movies which deal with important periods of our history so honestly. Not to mention the fact that the male dancers looks incredible. Looks like a must see.

Katie Mc

AIDS is still a death sentance even though many can afford appropriate meds for long term survival. I think that we can't stop talking about how the disease impacted communities. I'm looking forward to seeing this movie. From just the clips, it looks bueatifully shot and the dance looks amazing.

Steve Berliner

As an arts fan, and a current San Francisco resident who was NOT here during that time period, I'm interested to see what life was like in the community here.

Vincent Raponi

I like what the filmmaker says about "untold stories" and framing the subject in a different light. Looking forward to seeing this one, mostly because the dancing on Kickstarter and the website look great.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *