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The Drummer & The Keeper tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Gabriel, a rock’n’roll party animal newly-diagnosed with mental health issues, and Christopher, a 17-year-old goalkeeper with Asperger Syndrome who yearns to fit in.

This uplifting and comedic feature début from writer/director Nick Kelly deservedly won the Best Irish First Feature Award at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

A heartwarming story, showing the strength of the human bond, in the face of adversity.

Director: Nick Kelly Writer: Nick Kelly
Stars: Dermot MurphyJacob McCarthyPeter Coonan |





Critic Reviews of The Drummer and the Keeper

"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.” – Screen International [Fionnuala Halligan]

"The Drummer & The Keeper heralds the arrival of a very impressive new talent. We are already looking forward to what Nick [Kelly] will do next.” – Film Ireland Magazine [Brian Ó Tiomáin]

"This warm, thoughtful and insightful film marks Kelly as one to watch.”  Hot Press [Roe McDermott]

"Kelly has not made an art film that talks us through the issues with a grim face. The picture is airy, funny and at home to optimism. But it also remains honest about its subjects. Nick Kelly’s deft film details the friendship between a bipolar rock musician and a teenager with Asperger syndrome” – The Irish Times [Donald Clarke