Whiplash-Damien-Chazelle Whiplash

Whiplash, the movie from director and screenwriter Damien Chazelle, has won over both the public and the critics at the Sundance Film Festival. The festival, considered the mecca of independent cinema, celebrated its 30st birthday this January (from 16th till 26th) in Park City, Utah. And once again, for the second straight year, the same movie managed to seduce both audiences. If last year it was Fruitvale Station (Ryan Clooger) the one that convinced public and critics alike, this year it was Whiplash the movie that won both awards (Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award), in the US productions category. The film narrates the struggle of a music student who dreams of being the best percussionist in the jazz world. On his journey, he will cross paths with a failed and strict professor who will teach him untraditional methods to reach perfection at any cost.

Other outstanding productions in the US category are Fishing Without Nets, from Cutter Hodierne (Directing Award); Rich Hill from Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo (Grand Jury Prize: Documentary); and Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory, from Michael Rossato-Bennet (Audience Award: Documentary).

As for world productions, the public and the critics did not see eye to eye and the Chilean-French coproduction To Kill a Man, from Alejandro Fernández Almendras won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for best movie, while the Ethiopian production Drifet, from Zeresenay Mehary, took home the Audience Award. The Syrian-German documentary Return to Homs, from Talal Derki, won the Grand Jury Prize and the coproduction from Germany, Israel and the UK The Green Prince, from director Nadav Schirman, the Audience Award.