Ep 218: Chris Mason Johnson • Rachel Beth Anderson & Tim Grucza

Jun 12, 2014

[4 mins. 42 secs.] Chris Mason Johnson, writer-director of the new narrative film, "Test", is the first guest. Set in the free-spirited San Francisco of 1985, Johnson's film lovingly portrays this exciting and harrowing era as young Frankie —dancer Scott Marlowe in his acting debut— confronts the challenges of being an understudy in a modern dance company where he’s taunted to “dance like a man!” Frankie embarks on a budding relationship with Todd (Matthew Risch, HBO's "Looking"), a veteran dancer in the same company and the bad boy to Frankie’s innocent. Test is notable for its dance sequences choreographed by Sidra Bell. The film is currently playing in San Francisco and opens theatrically today, Friday, June 13th at the Quad Cinema in NYC and other cities. Check here for further theatrical details. Test is also currently on demand and on iTunes.  Mentioned during the course of the conversation, Chris' article on his going non-profit on Hope for Film.

[39 mins. 11 secs.] The Human Rights Watch Film Festival has come to New York City this week and runs through Sunday, June 22nd at Lincoln Center and the IFC Center. Among the many compelling documentaries in the program is Rachel Beth Anderson & co-director Tim Grucza's "First to Fall". The story is about the irreversible transformation of two friends, and the price they pay for their convictions. Hamid and Tarek leave their lives as students in Canada and travel to Libya, their homeland, to join the fight to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. The film follows them through their incredible odyssey, as they navigate a brutal guerrilla war to liberate Libya from 40 years of tyranny. First to Fall will screen June 17th at the IFC Center and June 18th at the Walter Reade Theater. More details here.

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