Wish You Were Here

Institute History


Three African-American women—a Receptionist, a Chef, and a Florist—have been close friends for many years and think they know each other intimately . . . until they take a short vacation together to celebrate a birthday and discover that dark secrets exist between them.

On the first day of the trip, after a relaxed evening, the Receptionist has an uncommonly disturbing, fragmented dream, and is abruptly awakened by a knock at her door. It is morning and her friends have arrived to retrieve her for breakfast. Disoriented and tired, she pulls herself together while the Florist and the Chef go ahead without her. They are given a package from the front desk which, although it bears no return address, they assume is a birthday gift for the Receptionist. When the Receptionist arrives and opens it, she is terrified by its contents—confetti-like material sprays out of the box and a cryptic note is enclosed that reads "Wish you were here."

The Receptionist is so shaken and upset by this that she runs back to her room and starts packing her bags to leave. Her friends follow her back to her room, perplexed at why this effervescent gift caused her such agitation. After much prompting and confrontation, the Receptionist tells her two friends that she believes that the package is a threat from someone who witnessed her killing a man 15 years ago. Her friends are taken aback by this revelation because of its gravity and are shocked that she never shared any aspect of this event with them. The two women convince the Receptionist not to leave and resolve that they will find out who sent the package and why when they return home.

Upon their return it becomes clear that the Chef, not the Receptionist, was the intended recipient of the gift, and is being stalked. Although she asks for the help of the Florist to identify the gift giver, she secretly suspects that she knows the answer. For, unbeknownst to her friends, the Chef is leading a double life and assumes that the mysterious gift is related to this hidden aspect of her life.

While sleuthing on behalf of the Chef, the Florist inadvertently finds out about her double life. She has a clandestine confrontation with the stalker, who is dangerously obsessed with the Chef. The encounter turns violent and the Florist kills him in self-defense. Now the Florist, too, is plagued with her own dark secrets.

As they variously share, keep, and create secrets, the Receptionist, Chef, and Florist become at once closer to and more isolated from one another. Secrecy and revelation, each being both bonding and divisive, reflect the paradox of true human intimacy.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]