QUEST: A Benefit for the Coalition on Homelessness

August 04 only

After the film, stay for a Q&A with director Santiago Rizzo, followed by a panel discussion hosted by the Coalition on Homelessness to examine some of the film’s themes in the lives of San Francisco residents. Joining us in the panel will be T.J. Johnston, a San Francisco based journalist who is Assistant Editor of the Street Sheet newspaper and an active contributor to homeless advocacy projects, and Sophia Thibodeaux, who is part of the production team for the Stolen Belonging Project, a volunteer at the Coalition on Homelessness, and a mother of three who has lived in San Francisco for two decades. T.J. and Sophia will draw from their personal experiences of being homeless as well as their careers as activists to reflect on the meaning of healing and empathy in the context of San Francisco’s homelessness crisis.

Proceeds go to benefit:

About the film

“Lying might get you what you want in the short run but honesty will get you what you need in the long run”-Tim Moellering (Berkeley Teacher & Coach to Santiago Rizzo). 

QUEST – the Truth Always Rises, is a magnanimous love story highlighting our need for healing and empathy told from a 12 year old in crisis, addicted to tagging and losing faith in humanity. “Mills” spends his time on the street with older graffiti mentor “Debt” (Lakeith Stanfield – Atlanta/Sorry to Bother You/Get Out), escaping an abusive step-father (Lou Diamond Phillips) and a mom (Betsy Brandt – Breaking Bad) who doesn’t believe him. On a path to expulsion, his coach and history teacher, Tim Moellering (Dash Mihok – Ray Donovan), sees what the rest cannot yet, that his recklessness is a cry for help. As much as Mills pulls away, he finds himself compelled to try to trust, just one more time.

Quest has won audience awards, moved adult inmates to tears, shifted Juvenile Detention Centers to remove locks from their doors, and still looking for distribution. It challenges us to face our fears and regain faith in humanity through Trusting our Struggle and Sharing.

If you are not willing to face your truth, this is a WARNING. Please go to our website:

About the director

“Any kind of art that comes from a place of truth, is valid. And I think these days art is being corrupted by politics and status and that is not good for humanity.” Santiago Rizzo was “Mills” in Quest. The lessons he learned from Tim Moellering – compassion, honesty, and unconditional love – helped propel him from a life on the street to emancipated minor, Student Body President of Berkeley High School, Stanford University, and on to Wall Street. He left finance to build a house with Tim before he died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. A house that was later sold to fund the creation of Quest. Tim never broke a promise to Santiago and Quest is “Based on Promises Never Broken…” Santiago and Tim wrote the first drafts of Quest together. For Santiago, making Quest is about passing on what Moellering gave him. “We all depend on one another. And we all share the same earth. None of us can hide from the truth that our children are inheriting and it’s time to come together to start healing.” 


Directed by Santiago Rizzo. USA. 2019. 85 min. DCP.

NOTE FILMS START RIGHT AT THE LISTED SHOWTIME. Roxie Theater trailers play during the 30 minutes prior to showtime.



QUEST: A Benefit for the Coalition on Homelessness: Upcoming Showtimes