The Drummer and the Keeper

The Drummer and the Keeper Irish Film Festa

Ireland, 2017

Director/writer: Nick Kelly; cinematography: Tom Comerford; editing: Derek Holland; music: John Gerard Walsh; production design: Louise Matthews; producer: Kate McColgan; production company: Calico Pictures. Irish location: Dublin

Running time: 92’

Cast: Dermot Murphy, Jacob McCarthy, Charlie Kelly, Peter Coonan, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Olwen Fouéré

Best First Irish Film – Galway Film Fleadh 2017



Drummer Gabriel, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, is forced to curb his erratic behaviour when his therapist changes his medication and insists he join a special football team. When he meets goalkeeper Christopher, a 17-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, a fraught relationship gradually develops into a firm friendship as each learns to respect the other’s foibles.



Before his debut as a film director, in the early 1990s dubliner Nick Kelly worked as the lead singer and songwriter for The Fat Lady Sings. He then released four award-winning solo albums gaining a reputation 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. He is also an award-winning short story writer. Nick has directed three short films, Delphine (2003), Why The Irish Dance That Way (2007) and Shoe (2010, IFF.5). The Drummer and the Keeper, winner of Best First Irish Film at the Galway Film Fleadh 2017, is his first feature film.