Zach Braff holds little stock in judgments against him. The actor and filmmaker, 39, came under fire last year when he asked fans for contributions through Kickstarter to fund a passion project movie, but he recently turned the tables and criticized the critics.
"I was completely taken aback by the criticism," Braff said at the Zurich Film Festival, where his crowdfunded Wish I Was Here film screened on Friday, Sept. 26. "I was expecting a conversation because it’s a fascinating and new model."
Many vocal dissenters took issue with the idea that Braff, who has a reported net worth in the multi millions, was asking for donations from fans. Looking to back his sophomore directorial effort after 2004's Garden State, Braff reasoned that he needed the money in order to keep his artistic vision.
"The truth is, it's very hard to get small, personal films made without sacrificing some aspect of your artistic integrity (final-cut, casting, minuscule budgets)," he wrote in a release in April 2013. "The supporters of mine across the globe who back this film project will not only get to see something that wouldn't have been made otherwise, but they'll get to do so knowing they made it happen."
Luckily for Braff, the project was financed quickly and successfully, making $2 million in three days through Kickstarter. He recruited Kate Hudson, Joey King, and Jim Parsons for the cast, and started screening Wish I Was Here this past summer. The movie received mixed reviews from critics, but positive feedback from viewers, and made $3.6 million in its limited theatrical run.
"I felt that a lot of the criticism was unfair and uninformed," Braff continued at the Zurich Film Festival, according to Screen Daily. "It was frustrating having the debate with people who didn’t have all the analytics and facts. I knew that we were driving new people to Kickstarter who then invested in other projects, for example. The onus was on me to explain why someone like me couldn't get a film made in the traditional way."
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