TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 12: Damien Chazelle speaks onstage at In Conversation With Damien Chazelle during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 12, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Whiplash's Sundance Opening Was 'Very' Worrying For Damien Chazelle
The Sundance Film Festival operates on the objective of finding new, exciting talent and giving them a platform to show their art; however, a film’s success depends on its scheduled time. Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle’s "Whiplash" premiered at the festival in 2014, but the writer-director thought an opening night slot would leave his film dead on arrival.
Distributors and critics might not be in attendance on an opening night, since the highly anticipated movies are shown on Friday or Saturday, not on Thursday. Luckily, Sony Pictures Classics saw "Whiplash" and bought it for almost $3 million, and the film went on to get nominated for Best Picture and win J.K. Simmons a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
Speaking with Interview Magazine, Chazelle reflected on the early time slot: "I'm actually happy that it got to be opening night because you get there, you screen it, and then you’re able to enjoy the rest of the festival. I didn't have this premiere screening looming over my head giving me anxiety. So Sundance ended up being a dream. It was great."