Thunder Road (2016 film)

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Thunder Road
Thunder Road 2016 poster.jpg
Directed by Jim Cummings
Produced byMark Vashro
Written byJim Cummings
StarringJim Cummings
Kitty Barshay
William Daubert
Music by Bruce Springsteen
Father Andrew
CinematographyDrew Daniels
Edited bySound: ornana
Distributed by Vimeo
Release date
Running time
13 minutes
CountryUnited States

Thunder Road is a short comedy-drama film written, directed by, and starring Jim Cummings. Shot in one take, the film depicts a police officer giving a eulogy for his mother. It premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it received positive reviews, winning the Short Film Grand Jury Prize. A feature-length adaptation of the same name was released in 2018, also written, directed by, and starring Cummings.



Police officer Arnaud eulogizes his mother at her funeral by singing and dancing to the Bruce Springsteen song, "Thunder Road".


Cummings said in multiple interviews that the film was written over 2 months on his commutes to work at CollegeHumor, and that he sold his wedding rings to help fund it. [1]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100% based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. [2] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". [3]

The film was awarded at the Sundance Film Festival with the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, being called "a mini masterpiece of writing, directing and acting". [4] Short of the Week called it "funny, inventive, and thought-provoking" and "the toast of this year’s American festival circuit-", [5] and IndieWire listed it as one of the best short films ever made. [6]

Awards and nominations

AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipientResult
Sundance Film Festival January 28, 2016 Short Film Grand Jury Prize Thunder RoadWon
South by Southwest March 15, 2016Jury Prize for Acting [7] Jim CummingsWon
Los Angeles Film Festival June 9, 2016Jury Recognition for Outstanding Performance [8] Jim CummingsWon
Palms Springs Shorts Fest June 26, 2016Jury Prize for Acting [9] Thunder RoadWon
Atlanta Film Festival April 19, 2016Best Narrative Short [10] Thunder RoadWon
HollyShorts Film Festival August 19, 2016Best Narrative Short [11] Thunder RoadWon
Rainier Independent Film FestivalMay 19, 2016Best Short Narrative [12] Thunder RoadWon
ShortList Film FestivalAugust 24, 2016Creators League Prize [13] Thunder RoadWon
ÉCU Film Festival April 12, 2016Best Non-European Independent Dramatic Short Film [14] Thunder RoadWon
Provincetown International Film Festival June 19, 2016Best Narrative Short [15] Thunder RoadWon

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  2. "Thunder Road (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media . Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  3. "Thunder Road Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  4. "Sundance Film Festival Awards (2016)". IMDb . Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  5. Sondhi, Jason (September 6, 2016). "Short of the week". Short of the Week. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  6. Ehrlich, David (July 25, 2016). "Film Critics Pick The Best Short Films Ever Made". IndieWire . Penske Business Media . Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  7. Indiewire Staff (March 15, 2016). "SXSW: Complete List of Winners at the 2016 Film Awards". IndieWire . Penske Business Media . Retrieved October 10, 2016.
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  11. "2016 HollyShorts Film Festival Award Winners". HollyShorts Film Festival . Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  12. "Rainier Film Festival Award Winners 2007-2018". Rainier Independent Film Festival. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  13. TheWrap Staff (August 24, 2016). "Slingshot Mamans and Thunder Road Take Prizes at the Wraps Shortlist Film Festival". TheWrap . Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  14. admin (April 10, 2016). "Award Winners - ECU 2016". The European Independent Film Festival . Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  15. "Provincetown Film Festival Winners 2016". Provincetown International Film Festival. Archived from the original on March 28, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2016.