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'Whiplash' drums up big awards at the Sundance Film Festival

"Whiplash", which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, opened the 2014 Sundance Film Festival earlier this month.
"Whiplash", which stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, opened the 2014 Sundance Film Festival earlier this month.
Daniel McFadden/Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Sundance Institute last night announced that “Whiplash” was honored with the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, which ends Sunday. The award was presented by film critic Leonard Maltin, who sat on this year's Festival Jury.

“Whiplash” also won the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic category. The award was presented by William H. Macy at Saturday evening's Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah. The ceremony was hosted by Nick Offerman(“We’re the Millers”, Parks & Recreation) and Megan Mullally(Will & Grace).

“Whiplash” tells the story of Andrew, a jazz drummer who desires to be the best. Terrence Fletcher, a conservatory instructor, sees Andrew’s potential and gets him into his band. Andrew begins to strive for perfection to the point of obsession, and that obsession is only exacerbated by Fletcher. Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons lead the cast. The film is written and directed by Damien Chazelle. A relative newcomer, Chazelle wrote 2013’s “The Last Exorcism Part II.”

The good news is a second helping for “Whiplash.” Just one week ago, it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics after it opened the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. “It’s not just a good movie, it’s a full, rich experience, a feast for our eyes, ears, and mind,” the company said of the film.

Sony Pictures Classics also acquired the comedy “Land Ho!” from the Festival this month.