The Drummer and The Keeper

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Ireland | 2017 | 93 minutes | Nick Kelly

When a drummer for an up-and-coming Dublin rock band is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he is forced to join a weekend mixed-ability soccer team and makes fast friends with a 17-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome in this poignant and charming bro-com between two lonely souls.

We're pleased to celebrate our 10th anniversary in Kirkland! A reception will precede the screening starting at 6:30 PM.

Film + Party (21+): $25
Includes admission to the film, entry to the pre-film reception, appetizers from Volterra, and two drink tickets.

Gabriel is a talented yet troubled drummer for an up-and-coming Dublin rock band. But after years of impulsive, self-destructive behavior, he is diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic and delusional episodes, the same disease from which his deceased mother suffered. His bandmates, with assistance from his sister, give Gabriel an ultimatum—seek treatment now. Along with new medications, his therapist prescribes physical activity, specifically to join a weekend mixed-ability soccer team. It's during his first outing on the pitch where he meets Christopher, a 17-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome, obsessed by goalkeeping and all the statistics associated with it. Christopher latches on to Gabriel, despite the latter's rather cool reception, forging a tenuous bond. But Gabriel and his bandmates soon discover Christopher to be quite useful, particularly for an indie outfit in need of a roadie. However, while Christopher revels in the new freedom and worldliness he's discovered, Gabriel wrestles with the mind-numbing side effects of his new medication. In his first feature film, director Nick Kelly—whose own son is on the autistic spectrum—fearlessly tackles the difficult struggles of mental health patients with a poignant and comic sensibility that never slips into the maudlin to create a charming bro-com between two odd and lonely souls.

Director Biography
Before his debut as a film director, Nick Kelly worked as the lead singer and songwriter for The Fat Lady Sings, with whom he released two albums through East West/Atlantic Records in the early 1990s. He then released four award-winning solo albums where he has become recognized as one of Ireland's most innovative, independent musical artists. His work as copywriter is also quite well known, particularly an advertisement for Guinness called "Quarrel," featuring a young Michael Fassbender.

Sponsored by Comcast, Lagunitas Brewing Company

  • Director: Nick Kelly
  • Principal Cast: Dermot Murphy, Jacob McCarthy, Peter Coonan
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Ireland, USA
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 93 minutes
  • Producer: Kate McColgan
  • Screenplay: Nick Kelly
  • Cinematographers: Tom Comerford
  • Editors: Derek Holland
  • Music: John Gerard Walsh
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Galway Film Fleadh 2017 (Best First Film), Cleveland International Film Festival 2017 (Audience Award)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: The Film Sales Company