Premiere: The Screen Test Project, featuring Julia Holter and TOPS

A Canadian filmmaker shares his curiously intimate one-minute screen tests of rising stars, captured at this year's POP Montreal festival.

Filmmaker and photographer Andrew de Freitas, of Montreal creative studio Newfoundland Tack, captured these moving portraits of some of the most exciting artists of the moment at this year’s POP Montreal festival on 8mm colour film as part of his ongoing Screen Tests project. Muted in colour and sound, his minute-long films show an unedited, soundless snippet of real time with each of the subjects: as close to a moving photograph as you possibly get.

Scroll down to read Andrew’s own take on the project, and watch portraits of the eerily still LA experimental pop artist Julia Holter, nonchalant vocalist Jane Penny of Canadian pop group TOPS, the elusive, hat-hidden French pianist and singer Arthur H and the affably laid-back Meghan Remy of one-person project US Girls.

Andrew de Freitas: “The basis for this project was just getting human beings onto film. Well, first to get the human being, the subject, close enough to be in front of the camera, and then roll it for about one minute. Of course when you go about creating that situation, with the subject and the camera in the room or wherever you are, it creates a situation and an interaction, and that’s important to the project too.”


Jane Penny, of TOPS

Andrew de Freitas: “It’s more often that we see portraiture as still photography, but these films are also a kind of portraiture. You’re adding time to the picture when you shoot a subject as a film, and the document it produces is something quite different from the still image. The films don’t necessarily carry more more or less information than a photograph could, they just provide an alternative view.”


Arthur H

Andrewde Freitas: “It’s not so often these days that we’ll see a single moving image, uncut, for longer than a few seconds. Which is a shame. And even with photography, we’re looking at so many images all the time, often skimming over them really quickly. But when photography is good, it can hold there you for a while – it’s a single image but there’s a lot to see. Here you have a whole bunch of single images lined up in sequence, over time, and what it’s showing you is a situation. The screen tests are about looking through single images and into a situation.”


Meghan Remy, of US Girls

Watch the whole Screen Test series on the Newfoundland Tack website

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