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‘Quest’: How a Photo Essay Turned into a Documentary About 8 Years in the Life of a North Philly Family

23 January 2017 6:00 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Quest,” the debut documentary feature debut from director Jonathan Olshefski, is an intimate portrait of an African-American family living in North Philadelphia. The director filmed the Rainey family for nearly eight years, capturing their struggles big and small, in a neighborhood riddled with the same issues of inequality and neglect that plagues so much of America’s urban landscape.

Read More: The 2017 IndieWire Sundance Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival

What’s interesting is Olshefski didn’t set out to make a film; he wasn’t even a filmmaker. He was a photographer drawn to shooting Christopher “Quest” Rainey’s small recording studio and his collective of local hip-hop artists. IndieWire recently asked to the director to tell us about how his relationship with the Rainey family and the project has evolved since he started taking photos of them more than 10 years ago.

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