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DVD: QUEST Online Store
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U.S. Broadcast Premiere: PBS American Documentary | POV
June 18, 2018
10pm on most PBS stations. Check your local listings.
U.S. Distributor: First Run Features
Detroit, MI | April 26 | Red Bull House of Art
Philadelphia, PA | April 28 | Quaker Meetinghouse
Lancaster, PA | May 4 - 10 | Zoetropolis
View complete list of past screenings here
United States - First Run Features
Please contact us if you would like to bring QUEST to your community or would like to partner with us on our community engagement and impact campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org
Synopsis: Filmed with vérité intimacy for nearly a decade, QUEST is the moving portrait of the Rainey family living in North Philadelphia. Beginning at the dawn of the Obama presidency, Christopher "Quest" Rainey, and his wife, Christine'a "Ma Quest" raise a family while nurturing a community of hip hop artists in their home music studio. It's a safe space where all are welcome, but this creative sanctuary can't always shield them from the strife that grips their neighborhood. Epic in scope, QUEST is a vivid illumination of race and class in America, and a testament to love, healing and hope.
World Premiere: U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival
U.S. Broadcast Premiere: PBS American Documentary | POV on June 18, 2018
Contact Us: email@example.com
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November 1, 2017
Hi QUEST followers,
It has been an incredible year! I am very proud of the honors and accolades that QUEST has received, but the thing I value the most are the relationships. Festivals and critics often describe the film as a labor of love, but I have to say that I have been on the receiving end for a lot of it. Beginning with the Rainey family and the North Philadelphia community. To funders and supporters who cleared a path to get the film made. To the amazing film team who invested their hearts and souls along with their talents to craft the film. To audiences who experience the love in the story and reflect it back.
I make films to make friends and it has been amazing to meet so many cool new people and to go deeper with partners that have been a part of this journey for a long time. Attending screenings has been super rewarding as I am able to witness the impact that the Rainey family's story has on audiences. The Raineys have been able to attend a number of festivals/screenings across the country and they have really been moved by the warmth and kindness they have received at these events. People often approach us after a screening to share their connection to moments in the film that relate to their own personal stories. These exchanges have been unforgettable.
I hope that, beyond building an initial connection with viewers, the film will spark real commitment to support and embrace communities like North Philadelphia. We are developing an impact and engagement campaign around the film to create a context for this to happen and we are looking for individuals and organizations to partner with us in this effort.
Every independent film needs champions to get made and I am so grateful to everyone who made this film possible. Now we need champions to help us get the word out so that we can bring this important story to more people. Thank you for being a part of this.
Jonathan Olshefski aka Peter Parker
"A beautiful film...evokes the peerless 'Hoop Dreams' and qualifies as a sort of longitudinal study. But there's nothing academic about it. To the contrary, Quest is intimate, warm yet unsentimental and agreeably rambling."
"There are biographical documentaries, fortunate to the point of being blessed, that start as fly-on-the-wall journalism and luck into better-than-fiction narrative twists. The remarkable Quest is one of them."
• National Public Radio - Fresh Air with Terry Gross, December 20, 2017
A Filmmaker's 'Quest' For A Quiet Family Portrait Is Pierced By Unforeseen Trauma
• Philadelphia Inquirer, Mike Newall, February 14, 2016
A portrait of a family and a window into the city
• Sundance Institute, staff, November 29, 2016
2017 Sundance Film Festival: Competition And Next Lineup Announced
• Indiewire, Chris O’Falt, January 23, 2017
‘QUEST’: How a Photo Essay Turned into a Documentary About 8 Years in the Life of a North Philly Family
• Filmmaker Magazine, Staff, January 25, 2017
“I Became Like Furniture”: Director/DP Jonathan Olshefski on QUEST
• Birth Death Movies, Jason Gorber, January 30, 2017
Sundance Interview: QUEST’s Jonathan Olshefski And Sabrina Schmidt Gordon. How a ten-year-journey become of of this Sundance's best documentaries
• Roger Ebert.com, Sasha Kohan, January, 30, 2017
Sundance 2017 Interview: The Filmmakers of “QUEST”
• The Duke Chronicle, Nina Wilder, April 12, 2017
Full Frame 2017: Interview with the cast and crew of ‘QUEST’
• Hot Docs Jots, staff, April 25, 2017
Director Jonathan Olshefski and Producer Sabrina Schmidt Gordon discuss process in QUEST
• PDN Photo District News, Holly Stuart Hughes, June 2017
An American Family/First-Time Director Jonathan Olshefski on Creating a Feature-Length Documentary
• Art Forum, Amy Taubin, Summer 2017
Everyday People: Jonathan Olshefski’s Documentary Portrait of an American Family in Philadelphia
• Full Frame, staff, August 31, 2017
Director Jonathan Olshefski on QUEST
• Filmmaker Magazine, Vadim Rizov, Fall 2017
25 New Faces of Independent Film
• Vogue, Rebecca Bengal, December 1, 2017
With Quest, a Documentary Disrupts American Narratives About Race
• Vice, Seth Ferranti, December 7, 2017
A Stunning New Film Documents a Decade in the Life of One Family
• International Documentary Association, Lauren Wissot, December 19, 2017
Doc Stars of the Month: Christopher 'Quest' and Christine'a 'Ma Quest' Rainey, Jonathan Olshefski's 'Quest'
• Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Maria Sciullo, January 4, 2018
Turtle Creek native brings acclaimed documentary 'Quest' to Pittsburgh Filmmakers
Winner: Truer Than Fiction Award | 2018 Independent Spirit Awards
Winner: Outstanding Achievement in Editing | Cinema Eye Honors
Winner: Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award | Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Winner: Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights | Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Winner: Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary | Dallas International Film Festival
Winner: Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary | RiverRun International Film Festival
Winner: Les Blank Award: Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary | Ashland Independent Film Festival
Winner: People's Voice Award | Fist Up Film Festival
Winner: Audience Award | Camden International Film Festival
Winner: Best Documentary Feature | Baltimore International Black Film Festival
Winner: Best U.S. Documentary | Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Winner: Documentary Jury Award | Milwaukee Film Festival
Winner: Silver Gateway Award for Second Best Film | Mumbai Film Festival
Winner: Critic's Choice Award | Key West Film Festival
Honorable Mention: Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature | Cleveland International Film Festival
Honorable Mention: Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature | Nashville Film Festival
Select Festivals List:
• Sundance Film Festival, January 19 – 29, 2017
• True/False Film Festival, March 2 – 5, 2017
• New Directors/New Films, March 16 – 27, 2017
• Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, April 6 – 9, 2017
• Cleveland International Film Festival, March 29 – April 9, 2017
• Ashland Independent Film Festival, April 6 – 10, 2017
• Dallas International Film Festival, March 30 – April 9, 2017
• RiverRun International Film Festival, March 30 – April 9, 2017
• Hot Docs, Toronto Canada, April 27 – May 7, 2017
• Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sheffield England, June 9 – 14, 2017
• AFI Docs, Washington DC, June 14 – 18, 2017
• Nantucket Film Festival, June 21 – 26, 2017
• Traverse City Film Festival, Traverse City MI, July 26 – 27, 2017
• Camden International Film Festival, Camden Maine, September 14 – 17, 2017
• Mumbai Film Festival, Mumbai India, October 12 - 18, 2017
View complete festival list here
Jonathan Olshefski is an artist and documentary filmmaker.
His debut feature documentary, QUEST, premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and went on to be selected for over 75 festivals internationally where it won multiple awards.
Olshefski strives to tell intimate and nuanced stories that honor his subjects’ complexity by employing a production process that emphasizes collaboration, dialogue, and relationship to amplify their voices and reflect their points of view in an artful way.
He has an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and is an Associate Professor at Rowan University where he teaches in the department of Radio, TV, and Film. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two sons.
You can view his portfolio here: olshefski.org.
Sabrina Schmidt Gordon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her editing debut won an Emmy for WGBH’s “Greater Boston Arts” series and she has continued to distinguish herself as a producer, editor, and now, director. She is the Co-Director/Producer and Editor of BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, winner of Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color at the 2015 African Diaspora International Film Festival. Sabrina is also the Co-Producer and Editor of DOCUMENTED, the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas. The film had record viewership for its CNN broadcast, received Oscar buzz, and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary Film. Other credits include Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was named in the Chicago Tribune’s “Best Documentaries of 2007, The New Black, and The New Mad Men, which won the 2015 Imagen Award for Best National Informational Program. Sabrina is on the board of the Yale Visual Law Project with Fred Wiseman and Alex Gibney, and teaches documentary filmmaking at the Columbia University School of Journalism and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Lindsay Utz edited the award-winning documentary Bully, which was released nationally in 2012, and was shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Most recently she edited the Sundance supported In Country, about a group of veterans reenacting the Vietnam War in the woods of Oregon, which had its 2014 premiere at Full Frame Documentary Festival and was named as one of POV’s top 5 films at Hot Docs. Along with the directors of In Country, she was named by The Independent as one of 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014.
Utz’s work also includes the ballet documentary First Position, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, the experimental feature Buoy, executive produced by Todd Haynes, and multiple pieces for the NYTimes Op-Docs series. In addition to working as a full time editor, she teaches documentary editing at Northwestern University. In 2012, Utz was awarded the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship in honor of Errol Morris’ late editor.
I've been into music since the 80's from breakdancing to beatboxing. Over the years I watched hip hop change in to many different avenues hard core, new jack. chanting, and many others. But all still to be under one main title: RAP!
I created Everquest Recordings as a way to help the teens in my area. But it grew into something more, a family. My name is Chris but friends over the years gave me different titles according to how we met. I guess they all settled on "Quest" (named after the studio). Through music I met David Barnes. A staple on 96.1 & 900am WURD’s "The New World View" radio program. Every Sunday evening 6pm - 8pm. also became a cohost on that program. I directed a video shoot starring Pep Shooter co-starring Meek Mill called Daily on the Block. I’ve been doing studio recordings for people for almost 20 years with local celebrities like Ron Geez, D Mack Kings, and our very own 23P. I'm probably the oldest studio fixture in my area with tons of music just waiting to be heard from past and present artists!
T. Griffin has composed scores for over 40 feature length films, and dozens of live and multimedia projects. Notable titles include the Academy-Award nominated LIFE, ANIMATED and multiple festival award winners QUEST, THE OVERNIGHTERS, and WELCOME TO LEITH as well as the recently Oscar Shortlisted ONE OF US. He has composed and performed live film/music events with filmmakers including Sam Green, Jem Cohen, Brent Green and Esther Robinson. These shows have toured internationally and been presented by The Barbican, BAM Next Wave, The Walker Art Center, The Melt Down Festival, Big Ears Festival, and dozens of other festivals and museums. Besides his work as a film composer and solo artist he has worked as a player and/or producer with luminaries of the independent music world including Patti Smith, Vic Chesnutt, Mary Margaret O'Hara and members of The Ex, Dirty Three, Fugazi and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. He was a fellow at the Sundance Composers' Lab in 2008, and has twice been nominated for Cinema Eye Honors for Original Music Score. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Ellen is an independent filmmaker and editor based in NYC. She is currently editing the feature documentary, Border South (Dir. Raúl Paz Pastrana). Ellen was recently selected as a mentee in the 2018 class of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship’s Diversity in the Edit Room Program. She participated at the 2017 Camden/TFI Filmmaker Retreat, the 2017 DocsMX Docs Labs in Mexico City, and she is a Flaherty Film Seminar alumnus. She holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University.
QUEST is a sponsored project of IFP (www.ifp.org)
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