‘Whiplash’ makes impact at Sundance festival

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Copy of Copy of 2014 Sundance Film Festival - Awards Ceremony~11 Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Damien Chazelle, director of 'Whiplash', celebrates receiving the Audience Award: US Dramatic for the film during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday, January 25, 2014, in Park City, Utah.

Los Angeles - A tense drama about the fraught relationship between a young jazz drummer and a teacher in New York was the big winner at the 30th Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.

The highly acclaimed “Whiplash,” by writer-director Damien Chazelle, won both the grand jury and audience awards for US dramatic film at the annual independent film festival.

“This was not an easy film to make, and not an easy film to convince people to make,” said Chazelle, who was also recognized at last year's Sundance, which takes place annually in Park City, Utah, for a short film on the same theme.

“Rich Hill,” a portrait of three disadvantaged boys in a small town in Missouri by directors Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, took the jury honor for best US documentary.

For foreign films, Chilean Alejandro Fernandez Almendras won the world grand jury prize for the fictional thriller “Matar a un Hombre” (To Kill a Man).

Talal Derki took the documentary prize for “Return to Homs,” which explores the consequences of the civil war in Syria.

Other winners on the night included the Ethiopian drama “Difret” and the documentary “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory,” on the beneficial effects of music on patients with Alzheimer's disease.

“The Green Prince,” a true story of a Palestinian boy who spied on Hamas for Israel, was also recognized.

Among the special jury and technical prizes, Hubert Sauper was awarded for his “cinematic bravery” for his documentary on neo-colonialism, “We Come as Friends.”

Founded by the actor Robert Redford, Sundance this year put on more than 120 feature films. - Sapa-AFP

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