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The Independent Critic

D. Domenico Munno, Valentina Bronzi, Patrick Munno
D. Domenico Munno
Joyce L. 

 "Significance Quest" Begins Its Festival Run 
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Italian director D. Domenico Munno's debut film is Significance Quest, a nearly eight-minute psychological drama featuring Munno as Walter, an intelligent software programmer anxious to share a new app he's designed for Jane (Valentina Bronzi), a sharing that is simultaneously grounded within Walter's ego and more than a little bit of flirtatious interest in Jane. Jane, however, quickly picks up Walter's intensely stalkerish vibe and demurs at his unwanted advances, initially rather gently but eventually with a more direct, emasculating approach that leaves the already slightly unhinged Walter seething within himself. 

Significance Quest is about what happens next, really, though what happens next is largely secondary to everything that goes on within the film. One could easily call Significance Quest a distant cousin to 2017's surprise indie hit My Friend Dahmer, a film starring Ross Lynch that explored life for Jeffrey Dahmer before he became that Jeffrey Dahmer. 

As we're introduced to Walter, we quickly become aware that this seemingly quiet European male has been hunkered down within his home increasingly influenced by videos of ISIS, their seemingly endless significance becoming an ever-growing intoxicant for the young man. At first thought, it seems like an absurd comparison but, then again, humanity seemingly always makes the mistake of believing that monsters start out as monsters. 

They don't.

Significance Quest is an intense film, a rather relentlessly intense film at least until the end scenes, with Munno's performance creating such an eerie vibe that I'll confess to having wondered if I'd stumbled across some weird propaganda video. Valentina Bronzi's performance is smooth and convincing, while Riccardo Sarta's camera work is consistent with the film's overall psychological intensity. 

There are quiet touches, none of which will be revealed here, that indicate Munno has done his homework and given the film layers of authenticity far beyond those which are obvious. The film's original score is top notch and Munno's direction is remarkably fresh and adds uniqueness to a story that otherwise feels familiar. 

Significance Quest isn't so much the kind of short film that you "like," but it's the kind of short film you can't help but appreciate and respect. As a first time filmmaker, Munno does a terrific job and clearly has made a film that should attract some intention on the film festival circuit. For more information on Significance Quest, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic