Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2018
Country: United States
Run Time: 85 minutes


Twelve-year-old graffiti artist Mills avoids his abusive stepfather (a brutal performance by Lou Diamond Phillips) by staying out all night tagging. His mother works nights and is oblivious, unconvinced her new husband is cruel to her son. The late nights on the streets aren’t just dangerous, but they’re also not conducive to studying and doing homework. Mills’ grades are failing, and his emotional state has led to outbursts. His teacher has had enough and is ready to give up on him. Enter burly, awkward, but extremely loveable football coach and teacher Tim. Refusing to walk away from any student, he offers to help Mills, giving him a spot on the football team in an effort to keep him out of trouble. The two bond as Tim goes out of his way—sometimes blurring the student/teacher boundary—to steer Mills in the right direction. Unfortunately, their innocent relationship is suspect to those around them. Will Tim risk it all to save Mills? Based on a true story, QUEST is an absolutely moving story of one teacher’s unwavering dedication to a student in desperate need of love. —E.F.

CIFF42 Screenings

Friday, April 06, 2018 at 8:50 PM

Saturday, April 07, 2018 at 4:05 PM

Film Is Art

American Independents Competition

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Santiago Rizzo: 'Just trying to heal'


Santiago Rizzo

Santiago Rizzo graduated from Stanford University with a major in economics and a minor in psychology. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue creative expression where he met such mentors as Haskell Wexler, who inspired and guided him. Based on much of his own story, making QUEST has been his greatest struggle and healthiest release. QUEST won the Grand Festival Award for Best Film at the Berkeley Video & Film Festival, as well as the Audience Awards at the Mill Valley Film Festival and the Napa Valley Film Festival.

QUEST (2018)

Santiago Rizzo

Darren Anderson, Tim Moellering, Santiago Rizzo

Florian Stadler

Principal Cast
Dash Mihok, Lou Diamond Phillips, Lakeith Stanfield, Sepideh Moafi, Betsy Brandt, Gregory Kasyan

Film Contact

Community Partner

Graffiti HeArt

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