Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Sundance Hit "Whiplash"

New York, NY (January 18, 2014) - Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American, Australian, New Zealand and German rights to Damien Chazelle's feature WHIPLASH. The film, which played as the 2014 Sundance Film Festival's opening night film, received rave reviews on Thursday.

Written by Chazelle, WHIPLASH stars Miles Teller (THE SPECTACULAR NOW) and J.K. Simmons (Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN trilogy). A scene from the original feature script WHIPLASH was shot as a proof of concept for the feature, and screened at last year's Sundance under the same title. It was awarded the Short Film Jury Prize for U.S. Fiction.

WHIPLASH is financed by Bold Films which produced with Blumhouse and Right of Way. It is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, Helen Estabrook of Right of Way Films, and Michel Litvak and David Lancaster of Bold Films. The executive producers are Jason Reitman of Right of Way Films, Gary Michael Walters of Bold Films, and Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Brill of Blumhouse Productions.

In WHIPLASH, Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man's life. Andrew's passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.

"I'm so excited to be teaming up with Sony Pictures Classics. Their passion and plan for this film felt like the perfect way to bring it to the world," says Chazelle, "It's been an amazing ride so far with an amazing group of producers and I could not be more thrilled."

Sony Pictures Classics stated, "What a way to begin Sundance! It's not just a good movie, it's a full, rich experience, a feast for our eyes, ears, and mind. What remains obvious is this film marks the birth of a major world class filmmaker and features staggering, emotional performances by J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. We are so excited to be bringing this movie to the moviegoing public."

WHIPLASH was negotiated with WME Global along with Miles Mogulescu of Bold Films' Business Affairs. Chazelle is repped by WME.

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.

Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 31 Academy Awards® (27 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 140 Academy Award® nominations (114 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to

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