Whiplash Sundance AwardIt was the first major deal of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and tonight Whiplash was the big winner at the fest’s Awards Ceremony. The Damien Chazelle-directed film about a young drummer, played by Miles Teller, and his demanding teacher, played by JK Simmons, took both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award. “This is awesome, thanks so much,” said Chazelle accepting the pic’s Audience Award earlier in the evening. Little did he know the fest hit would go on to win Sundance’s top dramatic prize. The U.S. Documentary Award went to the Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos-directed Rich Hill,Sundance Film Festival Winners 2014 about three small town Missouri boys seeking better from their sometimes bleak environment. Also making waves with buzzy Sundance awards tonight were first-time director Justin Simien, whose conversation-sparking Dear White People nabbed a Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent; the Ethiopian World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award winner Difret, exec produced by Angelina Jolie; and the Nick Cave docu 20,000 Days On Earth which snagged both Best Directing and Best Editing in the World Cinema Documentary category.

offerman mullallyHosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, this year’s Awards started over 30 minutes later than its scheduled 6PM PT kick-off time. Once things got going, after a lurid but lame routine by the hosts, it moved fast. Like last year when Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who had his own directorial feature debut Don Jon premiere at Sundance 2013, hosted the awards ceremony, Offerman and Mullally both have films at the festival. The Parks & Recreation star fronted Nick Offerman: American Ham, which premiered on January 23 in Salt Lake City, and Mullally is one of the voices in the English-language version of the animated pic Ernest & Celestine, which was screened January 18 as part of the new Sundance Kids selection. Offerman and Mullally opened with a monologue that centered more on their sex life than indie film. “In short, we have seen your movies and we have found them arousing,” deadpanned Offerman. Somehow the duo namedropped a number of Sundance pics into all that – like Kristen Stewart-starrer Camp X-Ray, as well as a not-too-well-received joke about Robert Redford’s face and a line about Offerman’s “man girth” and a tune with a chorus about “pussy and weed” – the ingredients of your average indie film. After that, Sundance Director John Cooper came on stage to praise this year’s festival and tell winners not to thank everyone and to “keep things moving.”

Related:
Sundance Premieres & Documentary Premieres 2014 Lineup
Sundance Reveals U.S. & World Cinema Competition Slates
Sundance Unveils Spotlight, Midnight, Frontier Films & New Kids Slate
Sundance Reveals Short Film Lineup

The X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer is serving as one of the jurors for this year’s U.S. Dramatic category along with critic Leonard Maltin, producer Peter Saraf, writer-director Lone Scherfig and Slate.com critic Dana Stevens.

Check out all the winners below:

U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury
Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons.

WhiplashBig night for the film that was the first sale of the festival. Jazz drummer pics …who knew?

Related: Sundance: Sony Pictures Classics To Get ‘Whiplash’ In Fest’s First Major Deal

By the way, juror and X-Men helmer Bryan Singer isn’t there tonight. According to critic and fellow juror Leonard Maltin, he’s sick. “But he saw all the films,” Maltin adds before presenting the big final award of the night…

rich hillU.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize
Rich Hill / U.S.A. (Directors: Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos) — In a rural, American town, kids face heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds, and dream of a future of possibility.

“It’s a small film but we’ve got big heart,” says Tragos.

U.S. Dramatic Directing Award
Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.

“Thank you so much, this is my first feature film,” says a breathless Hodierne. “We’re so endlessly grateful.”

U.S Documentary Directing Award

The Case Against 8The Case Against 8 / U.S.A. (Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White) — A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Directors say they met at Sundance five years ago and also thank the “incredibly inspiring people we were able to follow around for 5 years.” They also thank HBO and the lawyers who “showed that civil rights know no boundaries.”

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
The Skeleton Twins / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson) – Estranged siblings Maggie and Milo are reunited by a crisis, when Milo goes to spend time with Maggie in the small New England town where they grew up. Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, Joanna Gleason

Director Craig Johnson & Mark Heyman shared the award for scripting.

U.S .Documentary Editing Award

Watchers of the Sky / U.S.A. (Director: Edet Belzberg) — Five interwoven stories of remarkable courage from Nuremberg to Rwanda, from Darfur to Syria, and from apathy to action.

Another one for Watchers, which also nabbed a Special Jury Prize for use of animation.

Low Down SundanceU.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award

Low Down / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Preiss, Screenwriters: Amy Albany, Topper Lilien) — Based on Amy Jo Albany’s memoir, Low Down explores her heart-wrenching journey to adulthood while being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, as he teeters between incarceration and addiction in the urban decay and waning bohemia of Hollywood in the 1970s. Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Flea.

US Documentary Cinematography Award

E-TEAM / U.S.A. (Directors: Katy Chevigny, Ross Kauffman) — E-TEAM is driven by the high-stakes investigative work of four intrepid human rights workers, offering a rare look at their lives at home and their dramatic work in the field.

The cinematographers were Ross Kauffman and Rachel Beth Anderson.

Dear White PeopleU.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award For Breakthrough Talent
Dear White People / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell

“Wow,” says an obviously stunned and usually loquacious Simien. “OK, that’s crazy.”

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter / U.S.A. (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi.

US Documentary Special Jury Award for Use of Animation
Watchers of the Sky / U.S.A. (Director: Edet Belzberg) — Five interwoven stories of remarkable courage from Nuremberg to Rwanda, from Darfur to Syria, and from apathy to action.

US Documentary Competition Awards: special jury prize for Intuitive Filmmaking
The Overnighters / U.S.A. (Director: Jesse Moss) — Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor’s decision to help them has extraordinary and unexpected consequences.

U.S. Dramatic Audience Award: 
Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons.

aliveinsideWorld Cinema Jury Prize, Dramatic
Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett) — Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia—many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.

“I made this film because it moved me,” says Rossato-Bennett. “I made this film, most of it in my bedroom,” he laughs. Real indie. Felicity Huffman, who is in husband Macy’s directorial feature debut Rudderless is introing the awards.

World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award:
Difret / Ethiopia (Director and screenwriter: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari) — Meaza Ashenafi is a young lawyer who operates under the government’s radar helping women and children until one young girl’s legal case exposes everything, threatening not only her career but her survival. Cast: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere. World Premiere

Executive Producer Angelina Jolie gets a shout out at the podium; she boarded the pic earlier this month.

Related: Sundance: Angelina Jolie Joins Ethiopian Pic ‘Difret’ As Executive Producer

green princeWorld Cinema Documentary Audience Award 
 The Green Prince / Germany, Israel, United Kingdom (Director: Nadav Schirman ) — This real-life thriller tells the story of one of Israel’s prized intelligence sources, recruited to spy on his own people for more than a decade. Focusing on the complex relationship with his handler, The Green Prince is a gripping account of terror, betrayal, and unthinkable choices, along with a friendship that defies all boundaries. World Premiere.

Audience Award: Best Of Next
Imperial Dreams / U.S.A. (Director: Malik Vitthal, Screenwriters: Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic) — A 21-year-old, reformed gangster’s devotion to his family and his future are put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles. Cast: John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Glenn Plummer, Keke Palmer, De’aundre Bonds. World Premiere

“Everyone killed themselves to make this film,” says director Vitthal.

World Cinema Dramatic, Special Jury Prize For Best Ensemble
God Help the Girl / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Stuart Murdoch) — This musical from Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian is about some messed up boys and girls and the music they made. Cast: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Pierre Boulanger, Cora Bissett. World Premiere

World Cinema Dramatic Cinematography Award
Lilting / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Hong Khaou) — The world of a Chinese mother mourning the untimely death of her son is suddenly disrupted by the presence of a stranger who doesn’t speak her language. Lilting is a touching and intimate film about finding the things that bring us together. Cast: Ben Whishaw, Pei-Pei Cheng, Andrew Leung, Peter Bowles, Naomi Christie, Morven Christie. World Premiere.

World Cinema Screenwriting Award
Blind / Norway, Netherlands (Director and screenwriter: Eskil Vogt) — Having recently lost her sight, Ingrid retreats to the safety of her home—a place she can feel in control, alone with her husband and her thoughts. But Ingrid’s real problems lie within, not beyond the walls of her apartment, and her deepest fears and repressed fantasies soon take over. Cast: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt. World Premiere

52 tuesdaysWorld Cinema Dramatic Directing Award
52 Tuesdays / Australia (Director: Sophie Hyde, Screenplay and story by: Matthew Cormack, Story by: Sophie Hyde) — Sixteen-year-old Billie’s reluctant path to independence is accelerated when her mother reveals plans for gender transition, and their time together becomes limited to Tuesdays. This emotionally charged story of desire, responsibility, and transformation was filmed over the course of a year—once a week, every week, only on Tuesdays. Cast: Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Herbert-Jane, Imogen Archer, Mario Späte, Beau Williams, Sam Althuizen. International Premiere

A raspy Hyde thanks everyone including Sundance volunteers – very gracious.

World Cinema Grand Jury Award
To Kill a Man / Chile, France (Director and screenwriter: Alejandro Fernández Almendras) — When Jorge, a hardworking family man who’s barely making ends meet, gets mugged by Kalule, a neighborhood delinquent, Jorge’s son decides to confront the attacker, only to get himself shot. Even though Jorge’s son nearly dies, Kalule’s sentence is minimal, heightening the friction. Cast: Daniel Candia, Daniel Antivilo, Alejandra Yañez, Ariel Mateluna. World Premiere

Director sends a subtitled video thank you – with his baby. Charming, seriously.

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award For Cinematic Bravery
We Come as Friends / France, Austria (Director: Hubert Sauper) — We Come as Friends is a modern odyssey, a science fiction–like journey in a tiny homemade flying machine into the heart of Africa. At the moment when the Sudan, Africa’s biggest country, is being divided into two nations, a “civilizing” pathology transcends the headlines—colonialism, imperialism, and yet-another holy war over resources. World Premiere

“It is so awesome to be here,” says Sauper.

World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary
Happiness / France, Finland (Director: Thomas Balmès) — Peyangki is a dreamy and solitary eight-year-old monk living in Laya, a Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. Soon the world will come to him: the village is about to be connected to electricity, and the first television will flicker on before Peyangki’s eyes. North American Premiere

20000 days on earthWorld Cinema Documentary Editing
20,000 Days On Earth / United Kingdom (Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard) — Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international culture icon Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, this film examines what makes us who we are and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit. World Premiere

World Cinema Documentary Directing
20,000 Days On Earth wins again – which shows a bit of Nick Cave can go a long way.

Directors thank everyone via video for an “incredible Sundance.”

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize Documentary
Return to Homs / Syria, Germany (Director: Talal Derki) — Basset Sarout, the 19-year-old national football team goalkeeper, becomes a demonstration leader and singer, and then a fighter. Ossama, a 24-year-old renowned citizen cameraman, is critical, a pacifist, and ironic until he is detained by the regime’s security forces. North American Premiere

Related: Sundance: Sundance Institute Reveals Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award Recipients

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
I Origins / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Mike Cahill) – A PhD student studying molecular biology with a specialty in eye evolution leaves his lab to go to a party and has an intense, but fleeting, encounter with a mysterious, masked model who escapes into the night. With only a picture of her stunning and iconic eyes, he tracks her down, and they fall in love… Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, Archie Panjabi

Short Film Grand Jury Prize: Of God and Dogs
Short Film Jury Award: US Fiction: Gregory Go Boom
Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction: The Cut
Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction: I Think This is the Closest to How the Footage Looked
Short Film Jury Award: Animation: Yearbook
Short Film Special Jury Award for Unique Vision: Rat Pack Rat
Short Film Special Jury Award for Non-Fiction: Love. Love. Love.
Short Film Special Jury Award for Direction and Ensemble Acting: Burger
Short Film Audience Award, Presented by YouTube: Chapel Perilous

Roger Ebert & Gene SiskelWhile there was no single big breakout film at Sundance this year, there certainly was a lot of action – both dealwise and otherwise. Besides tonight’s awards, Sundance 2014 saw Zach Braff bring his Kickstarter-funded Wish I Was Here, which Focus Features picked up, to Park City as well as dual surprise appearances by 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney – for the Netflix docu  Mitt – and a brief visit by Steven Spielberg to the Young Ones premiere. There was the highly emotional Roger Ebert docu Life Itself, which premiered on January 19 with the Pulitzer Prize winning critic’s widow Chaz and Marlene Siskel, the widow of Ebert’s longtime At The Movies co-critic, in attendance. Also, this year’s Sundance saw God’s Pocket, the feature directorial debut by Mad Men’s John Slattery which is in competition in the U.S. Dramatic category, and former SNLer Bill Hader’s acclaimed performance in The Skeleton Twins, which was picked up by Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions and Sony and is also in the U.S. Dramatic competition. Additionally, there was Aaron Paul‘s first post-Breaking Bad appearance in Hellion, which is based on a former Sundance short by director Kat Candler and in Dramatic competition and the world debut of Richard Linklater‘s years in the making Boyhood among the many highlights of the 30th anniversary of Sundance.

Related: It’s Time To Stop Using Kickstarter And ‘Wish I Was Here’ As A Punching Bag