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January 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, a musical drama starring Miles Teller as a driven young jazz drummer and J.K. Simmons as the sports-coach-type instructor driving him won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic category at the Sundance Film Festival Saturday. The film had opened the festival last week to much critical praise, and several critics remarked following the awards presentations that nothing else screened at the festival provided much competition for the top prizes. Britain’s Guardian newspaper commented that it “rode a wave of positive buzz throughout the 10-day event.” said that It was “one of the few films that everyone liked during a festival that produced no breakout hit or uniform favorite.” Sony Classics quickly nabbed the film for an undisclosed purchase price. Rich Hill, which tells the story of three disadvantaged boys in a small town in Missouri by directors Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, nabbed the top jury prize for best US documentary.