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‘Whiplash’ brings Sundance awards to crescendo
A young drummer (Miles Teller, left) and a hard-driving teacher (J.K. Simmons) are engaged in a battle of wills in "Whiplash." Courtesy Sundance Institute
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos accept the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary for their film Rich Hill at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Damien Chazelle accepts the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic for his film Whiplash at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Ross Kauffman pauses to remember, James Foley, a cinematographer missing in Syria while accepting the Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary for the film E-TEAM at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Craig Johnson accepts the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for his film The Skeleton Twins at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Director Cutter Hodierne is embraced by Abdikani Muktar, who appeared in his film Fishing Without Nets, while accepting the Directing Award: Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Director Cutter Hodierne is embraced by Abdikani Muktar, who appeared in his film Fishing Without Nets, while accepting the Directing Award: Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Abdikani Muktar, who appeared in the film Fishing Without Nets, announces his love for the audience after Director Cutter Hodierne accepted the Directing Award: Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Director Alejandro Fernandez Almendras accepted his World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, via a video with one of his children at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally host  the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
William H. Macy takes a photograph of the crowd at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Nick Offerman hosts the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony Saturday January 25, 2014 in Park City.

Park City • A musical battle of wills and real-life stories about poverty and old age were the big award winners at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Damien Chazelle’s musical drama "Whiplash," which focused on an ambitious young jazz drummer (actor Miles Teller) and a ruthless band conductor (J.K. Simmons), was a double winner at a ceremony Saturday night in Park City. It won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic competition.

"This was not an easy movie to make, and not an easy movie to convince people to make," Chazelle said in one of his two acceptance speeches. "Nobody wants to make a movie about a jazz drummer."

Chazelle gained attention for his semi-autobiographical script by making a short film of one intense scene. The short played at Sundance a year ago, won a prize, and got the attention of financiers.

Winning the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Documentary competition was "Rich Hill," an on-the-ground look at poverty through the lives of three teens living in a rural Missouri town.

"I didn’t think anybody saw her film," said Tracey Dros Tragos, who co-directed "Rich Hill" with her cousin, Andrew Droz Palermo. "We’ve got a small film, but it’s got a big heart."

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"Rich Hill" came through the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Editing and Story Lab this summer.

Michael Rossato-Bennett’s "Alive Inside" won the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary. The film spotlights a program to give iPods to nursing-home residents suffering from Alzheimer’s, who light up when they hear the music of their youth.

"Alive Inside" received standing ovations in Park City, with audience members eager to offer ways to contribute to the music program.

"I am so grateful we are going to be able to bring joy and beauty and music to people who wouldn’t have gotten it," Rossato-Bennett said.

Among the people Rossato-Bennett thanked was Geralyn White Dreyfous, founder of the Utah Film Center and one of the creators of Impact Partners, which gives finishing funds to movies about pressing social issues.

The Grand Jury prizes in the World Cinema categories went to the Chilean drama "To Kill a Man," about a man seeking revenge on the thug who shot his son, and the Syrian documentary "Return to Homs," which follows two friends whose city is put under siege by the Assad regime.

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Big winners » Prizes for feature and documentary films are on the line.

At a glance

Sundance awards winners

Here are the winners of the awards at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival »

Grand Jury Prize, U.S. Dramatic » “Whiplash,” directed by Damien Chazelle.

Grand Jury Prize, U.S. Documentary » “Rich Hill,” directed by Tracy Droz Tragos, Andrew Droz Palermo.

Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Dramatic » “To Kill a Man” (Chile/France), directed by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras.

Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary » “Return to Homs” (Syria/Germany).

Audience Award, U.S. Dramatic » “Whiplash,” directed by Damien Chazelle.

Audience Award, U.S. Documentary » “Alive Inside,” Michael Rossato-Bennett.

Audience Award, World Cinema Dramatic » “Difret” (Ethiopia), directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari.

Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary » “The Green Prince”(Germany/UK/Israel), directed by Nadav Schirman.

Directing Award, U.S. Dramatic » Cutter Hodierne, “Fishing Without Nets.”

Directing Award, U.S. Documentary » Ben Cotner, Ryan White, “The Case Against 8.”

Directing Prize, World Cinema Dramatic » Sophie Hyde, “52 Tuesdays” (Australia).

Directing Award, World Cinema Documentary » Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard, “20,000 Days on Earth” (UK).

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, U.S. Dramatic » Criag Johnson, Mark Heyman, “The Skeleton Twins.”

Screenwriting Award, World Cinema Dramatic » Eskil Vogt, “Blind” (Norway/Netherlands).

Editing Award, U.S. Documentary » Jenny Golden, Karen Sim, “Watchers of the Sky.”

Editing Award, World Cinema Documentary » Jonathan Amos, “20,000 Days on Earth” (UK).

Cinematography Award, U.S. Dramatic » Christopher Blauvelt, “Low Down.”

Cinematography Award, U.S. Documentary » Rachel Beth Anderson, Ross Kauffman, “E-Team.”

Cinematography Award, World Cinema Dramatic » Ula Pontikos, “Lilting” (UK).

Cinematography Award, World Cinema Documentary » Thomas Balmes, Nina Bernfeld, “Happiness” (France/Finland).

Special Jury Prize, U.S. Dramatic, for “breakthrough talent” » Justin Simien, “Dear White People.”

Special Jury Prize, U.S. Dramatic, for musical score » The Octopus Project, “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter.”

Special Jury Prize, U.S. Documentary, for “use of animation” » “Watchers of the Sky,” directed by Edet Belzberg.

Special Jury Prize, U.S. Documentary, for “intuitive filmmaking’ » “The Overnighters,” directed by Jesse Moss.

Special Jury Prize, World Cinema Dramatic, for “ensemble performance, and how the director brought his own unique universe into cinema” » “God Help the Girl” (UK), directed by Stuart Murdoch.

Special Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary, for “cinematic bravery” » “We Come As Friends” (France/Austria), directed by Hubert Sauper.

Best of Next Audience Award » “Imperial Dreams,” directed by Malik Vitthal.

Shorts Audience Award » “Chapel Perilous” (U.S.), directed by Matthew Lessner.

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