Feel-Good Irish Feature, The Drummer and the Keeper, Released in Irish Cinemas This Friday, 8 September

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Feel-Good Irish Feature, The Drummer and the Keeper, Released in Irish Cinemas This Friday, 8 September

The debut feature from Irish director Nick Kelly, The Drummer and the Keeper, is released in Irish cinemas this Friday, 8 September. The film will screen at the BFI London Film Festival in October, following its world premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh, where it was awarded Best Irish First Feature.

The Drummer and the Keeper follows Gabriel—a chaotic young rock drummer who is desperate to hide his recent bipolar diagnosis from his increasingly exasperated band mates. When he is forced to bond with Christopher—an institutionalised 17-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome—their union results in a very unlikely friendship. The Drummer and the Keeper is produced by Kate McColgan for Calico Pictures and stars Dermot Murphy and Jacob McCarthy.

Following its world premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh, Screen Daily praised Kelly's direction and his deft handling of the film's presentation of mental health, commenting, "Kelly is fearless in the way he tackles mental illness and his command of comic tone is strong, making this film anything but the traumatic experience it may appear on paper and more like a gentle romcom between two odd and lonely souls." The influential publication also noted how the film's most important message is one of "normalisation and ownership."

The film stars an ensemble of young Irish actors including Dermot Murphy (Clean BreakRaw) and Charlie Kelly (The Secret ScriptureJadotville) and introduces Jacob McCarthy. Established talent includes Peter Coonan (What Richard DidLove/Hate), Aoibhinn McGinnity (Moone BoyQuirkeLove/Hate) and Annie Ryan (Ferris Bueller’s Day OffLaws of Attraction).

The Drummer and the Keeper is the directorial debut of Nick Kelly, whose short film Shoe was shortlisted for an Academy Award® and is produced by Kate McColgan for Calico Pictures (From The Dark) with support from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

The film is released on 8 September by Element Pictures Distribution.

Watch the trailer here