Nick Kelly

Commercial + Film Director


  • The Drummer And The Keeper
    2017 — Feature Film — 94 mins
  • Shoe
    2010 — Short Film — 13 mins
  • Why The Irish Dance That Way
    2006 — Short Film — 4 mins
  • Delphine
    2003 — Short Film — 3 mins
  • 2019 — Winner
    Gasparilla International Film Festival — Best Narrative Feature. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2019 — Winner
    Sedona International Film Festival — Best Feature Drama. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2019 — Winner
    Würzburg International Filmweekend — Audience Award. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2018 — Winner
    Breaking Down Barriers International Film Festival (Moscow) — Best Director . The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2018 — Winner
    Cleveland International Film Festival — Best Film. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2018 — Nominee
    Cleveland International Film Festival — Music Movies Competition . The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2018 — Winner
    Emden International Film Festival — SCORE Bernhart Wicki Preis Silver Award. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2018 — Winner
    Newport Beach Film Festival — Best Foreign Feature. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2018 — Winner
    Umbria Film Festival — Best Film. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2017 — Winner
    Galway Film Fleadh — Best First Irish Feature . The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2017 — Winner
    London Irish Film Festival — Best Feature. The Drummer And The Keeper
  • 2011 — Shorlisted—Top 10
    Academy Awards — Live Action Short . Shoe
  • 2011 — Winner
    Chicago Irish Film Festival — Best Short Film, Live Action. Shoe
  • 2011 — Winner
    Fastnet Short Film Festival — Best Irish Short. Shoe
  • 2008 — Winner
    Chicago Irish Film Festival — Best Short Film, Live Action. Why the Irish Dance That Way

Nick Kelly’s first short Delphine (2003) was hailed as “one of the best Irish movies of the past decade” (Evening Herald). His second, Why The Irish Dance That Way (2006) was selected by New York’s Museum of Modern Art for Shortfest: Outstanding Shorts from The International Festivals. In 2009, his script Shoe won First Prize in the Short Screenplay Competition at the Vail Film Festival (Colorado), and Second Prize in the Champion Screenwriting Competition (Los Angeles). Following a brief theatrical run in Los Angeles, Shoe was one of 10 movies shortlisted for an Oscar in the Live Action Short category of the 2011 Academy Awards. Shoe also won Best Irish Short at the Fastnet Film Festival.

Nick’s first feature film The Drummer And The Keeper, produced by Kate McColgan for Calico Pictures and funded by the Irish Film Board under its Catalyst Scheme, premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in July 2017 where it won Best Irish First Feature. Following a successful theatrical run in Ireland, The Drummer And The Keeper was selected for the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017, and won Best Feature at the Irish Film Festival London in November 2017. The Drummer And The Keeper was nominated in 5 categories at the 2018 IFTA Awards, including Best Screenplay for Nick’s script, with Jacob McCarthy winning the prestigious Rising Star for his portrayal of Christopher. Nick was one of three screenwriters nominated in the Best Feature Script section of the Irish Writer Guild’s annual ZeBBie awards 2018. The Drummer And The Keeper has won 18 awards in 7 countries since its Irish premiere, including the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the Cleveland International Film Festival, Best Foreign Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and the Silver Award in the Score Bernhard Wicki Preis for Best Film at the Emden-Norderney International Filmfest.

In 2019, Nick established and ran an innovative independent writers room, The Story Works, with the support of production company Green Pavilion Entertainment, with the goal of developing long form TV drama with global potential out of Ireland.

Most recently, Nick’s feature screenplay “Bedsitterland” – already a Quarter-Finalist in both the 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting and the 2019 Final Draft Big Break screening writing contest – has been awarded Development Funding by Screen Ireland and was one of just 36 projects worldwide accepted for the 2020 Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Nick was born in Dublin. Having qualified as a solicitor and given up his legal career the same day, Nick’s working life has largely been devoted to creative and artistic endeavors, but he has also been employed at various times as a computer games journalist, a tennis coach, a college lecturer, and an extra on “The Bill”. In addition to his work in film he is a Clio-winning advertising creative, a Choice Music Prize-nominated musical artist and an Ian St. James Award-winning short fiction writer.

Nick first came to prominence as the lead singer and songwriter with The Fat Lady Sings, with whom he released two much-praised albums on East West/Atlantic Records and toured the world in the early 1990s. He has subsequently released four award-winning solo albums, both under his own name and using his musical alter ego Alien Envoy, gaining a reputation as one of Ireland’s innovative independent musical artists and an innovator in the area of crowd-funding and new ways of releasing music.

Nick is also known as one of Ireland’s leading advertising copywriters. He has won many awards for his advertising work, both locally and internationally, including a Clio for his epic Guinness TV spot “Tom Crean”. He was also responsible for writing the Guinness spot “Quarrel” which featured a young Michael Fassbender. In 2011 he wrote and directed an admired fund-raising appeal for the Irish Film Archive featuring Saoirse Ronan. He has directed TV and online film spots for AIB, Guinness, SSE Airtricity, SVP and The Simon Communities.

In recent years Nick has created and performed a mixed media stage show called SEE:HEAR at various high profile festivals and arts venues around Ireland, including the Galway Film Fleadh and the Electric Picnic. SEE:HEAR combines screenings of clips from some of Nick’s films; a live musical performance of some of his songs; and a presentation about the many links that Nick sees between rock’n’roll and film, explaining how his experiences in the former field have influenced and contributed to his success in the latter.

Having spent many years living in London, New York and a variety of squalid sleeper buses, Nick now resides in his native Dublin once more with his wife and two sons.