Wish-I-Was-Here-Poster-sliceDebuting to a standing ovation at Sundance over the weekend, Zach Braff’s sophomore feature Wish I Was Here has now been acquired for North American distribution by the brilliant Focus Features.

It didn’t take long at all, which we can naturally take as a very good sign, alongside the reception it’s had out in Park City.

Ahead of its debut, Braff recently teased the first Sundance poster for the film, along with the first-look images last month, and with Focus now acquiring it for release across the Atlantic, we can look forward to seeing more from the film in the coming months.

“WISH I WAS HERE” tells the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, husband and dad who at 35 is still trying to find his true place in life. He and his wife are barely getting by financially, and Aidan passes his time fantasizing about being the futuristic Space Knight he always dreamed he’d be as a little kid.

When his ailing father can no longer afford to pay for private school for his two kids, and with the only available public school on its last legs, Aidan reluctantly agrees to attempt to home-school them. The result is chaos, until Aidan decides to scrap the traditional academic curriculum and come up with his own. Through teaching them about life his way, he gradually discovers the parts of himself he couldn’t find.

Braff takes the lead alongside Kate Hudson, joined by Josh Gad, Ashley Greene, Donald Faison, Mandy Patinkin, Jim Parsons, and Phill Lewis, with Joey King and Pierce Gagnon starring as Braff and Hudson’s on-screen children.

Braff co-wrote the script with his brother, Adam Braff.

In the message below, in which Braff announces the acquisition, he notes that the main reason he chose Focus for the film’s North American release is “because of the way they embraced the idea of joining our Kickstarter family and the unique way we made this film.” It’s been a brilliant journey over the past nine months, and we’ve loved following it every step of the way. International distributors are in the process of finished being secured, which is excellent news, so hopefully a UK distributor will be coming on board soon, and we’ll be seeing it on our shores later this year as well.

For those a little less acquainted with the name Focus than some of the larger studios, the distributor – one of my personal favourites – has an incredibly enviable list of credits, releasing the likes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shaun of the Dead, Dallas Buyers Club, The Place Beyond the Pines, Moonrise Kingdom, Milk, In Bruges, Into the Wild, Atonement, Brick, and Lost in Translation, to name just a few.

Braff has previously spoken of his intention to release the film in cinemas in the autumn/fall, and if he’s gone with Focus because of the way they’ve embraced the Kickstarter-launched project, then it’s highly likely they’ll be happy to accommodate that release.


Dear Friends,

On April 24th 2013, I reached out for help from all of you in order to create a film without compromises. I promised you that I would do my very best if you believed in me, and I told you that my dream was to show the film at the Sundance Film Festival, where I could find a distributor that could help me bring the film to all of you in theaters. I am thrilled to announce that thanks to each one of you, those dreams have come true and we have a new member of our family.

Focus Features will distribute the film in the US and Canada. Focus has a great reputation for supporting independent voices, and many of those voices have directed some of my favorite films.  But, the main reason I chose the great people at Focus is because of the way they embraced the idea of joining our Kickstarter family and the unique way we made this film. Now, as we finish securing our international distributors, our little film is on the road to coming to theaters all over the world. Wow.

I am so honored that you chose to support my vision and my dream, and so proud of what we have created together. You have been and will continue to be my most important audience, and my most valued friends.