Southwest Airlines Private Screening of ‘Wish I was here’ at Sundance

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The Party

Every year people flock from all over the world to Park City to attend the Sundance Film Festival and a couple of us here at Indie Ogden were lucky enough to attend a private screening hosted by Southwest Airlines.

The reception was held at Blind Dog restaurant and the food was incredible- fresh sushi, crab cakes, delicious drinks and yes, a candy bar. It was so fun to mingle with some amazing bloggers, many of whom are from right here in Utah.  After we were thoroughly stuffed we were given gift bags filled with brownies from Harmon’s Grocery, Apple beer, $50 gift cards to Southwest airlines and even  tickets to Utah Natural History Museum.  The treats in the gift bags came in handy during the movie but I still could not resist picking up a giant bag  of popcorn.

The whole event was an incredible experience and I made so many new friends from all over. Thank you to Southwest Airlines, Today’s Mama, Sundance Film Festival, Wish I was Here film, Blind Dog Restaurant and everyone who made this private screening possible.


Mikaela is a transplant from Portland, fell in love with Ogden her first day in town and created Indie Ogden the next week. She enjoys outdoor adventures with her husband, 2 kiddos and fur baby and making a mess crafting. You can find her at a local cafe or cycling around town with her family.

The Film

When Mikaela mentioned she had an extra ticket to a Sundance private movie screening I was all in. When I found out it was to attend a premiere of Zach Braff’s latest independent film, well. I don’t want to be dramatic but let’s just say I may have peed a little.

I’ve been a Zach Braff fan since his early acting days on Scrubs, and when he wrote and produced The Garden State it just sealed the deal. The writing in the movie is fresh, quirky, imaginative and has a whole lot of heart. Plus, he selected songs for the soundtrack himself.  I am not really the fangirl crush type, (not that Zach is unworthy) but rather, after seeing The Garden State I sort of think of him as one of my kind.

With that in mind, and knowing the movie boasted an impressive cast with names like Mandy Patinkin and Kate Hudson, I have to admit I had high expectations for this movie.  That can be dangerous, I know, but I was right on baby! While The Garden State explores the uncertainty we all have to maneuver in our twenties, I Wish I Was Here was sort of an Act Two along that same thread. For me, this idea is what made the movie so unforgettable.

Aiden Bloom is a thirty-something actor, husband, and father of two struggling not only to make the right choices for his family, but also gain his father’s acceptance and simultaneously figure out the purpose of life. Add the fact that his wife is supporting his family, his father is diagnosed with terminal Cancer, he finds himself forced to homeschool his kids and you’ve got one major dose of life getting real. Yep. Sounds like thirty-hood to me.

Despite the serious overtones, the film still managed to yield quite a few laughs from the audience with that bizarre humor Braff has become known for, without losing sight of the heart the script was written with. Braff’s performance in this role was seamless, I can only assume that’s because Braff, a thirty-something himself has experienced a hefty dose of life getting real. Kate Hudson as his wife was also just exquisite, and Mandy Patinkin as his terminally ill father sent some tears trickling down my cheek more than a couple times. Plus, I loved that this film dared to explore the concepts of religion and finding one’s purpose and still managed to be quirky and hilarious.

All in all, I’m going to resist the urge to be cliché and say that this film was life-altering. But I will say this: Thirty-something and wondering why you still haven’t figured out the meaning of you? Go see this movie, you just might find it here.


Cindy is an Ogden native, aspiring author, freelance writer and at-home mom. Her idea of a good time is geeking out with her writers group or exploring a new trail with her quirky daughters. When she isn’t writing, mommying or making eyes at her husband of seventeen years, you can find her capturing Ogden’s unique architecture from behind a camera lens, or sipping a dirty Chai at one of O-towns unique coffee shops. 


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