The Accompanist

Logline/Pitch: A troubled ballet star seeking a comeback finds his salvation in a piano accompanist who can shape shift time with his music and take people back to “where they need to be healed the most.” When the ballet dancer’s boyfriend sees the attraction between dancer and pianist, an all out war ensues to see whose love will win out.

Synopsis: Jason Holden, early 50s, middle-aged and once handsome, fluid sexuality, works as a piano accompanist at a local ballet studio. He is suffering from memories of a tragic car accident, and is dealing with his wife, Karen, who after moving out, is pushing for a divorce, although he doesn’t want one. Although his children Max, 17, star athlete, and Isabella, 15, sensitive, wheelchair-bound, are supportive, Jason is still sad and depressed over the fracturing of the family.
At the ballet studio where Jason works as an accompanist for ballet classes, he meets troubled ballet star, Brandon Wykowski, who is looking for a comeback. The attraction is palpable. Brandon is impressed by Jason’s “magic” music that somehow captivates the dancers at the studio and allows them to dance with added grace and elegance. However, Brandon’s off-again, on-again boyfriend, Adam, who is also a dancer at the studio, is insanely jealous of the attraction evident between Brandon and Jason.
Jason and Brandon begin working together at night at the studio to prepare him for upcoming New York Ballet Company auditions. Adam beats up Brandon so badly that Jason insists he come and live with him. Brandon learns more about Jason’s special powers to send people back in time with his piano music to “where they need to be healed the most.” Although Jason's children are frequently gone or at Karen’s, we see the closeness that Jason shares with Isabella and the awkward relationship he has with his son, Max, who harbors resentment about the car accident that involved the family two years previous.
As the love triangle plays out between Jason, Brandon and Adam, the lines between eroticism and violence become blurred as Adam and Brandon literally face off with each other through a “dance of love and death." When the truth comes out about Brandon’s betrayal of Jason’s trust, then Jason has no choice but to send both Brandon and Adam back in time to be “healed where they needed to be healed the most.” Unexpected events unfold where the surreal combines with the magical power of music, transforming all of their lives in the process.

  • Frederick Keeve
    Director
    From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff; Cadillac City; Designated Caretaker Redux
  • Frederick Keeve
    Writer
    From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff; Cadillac City; Designated Caretaker Redux
  • Frederick Keeve; Julie Eagleton
    Producer
    Small Town Conspiracy, Cadillac City, Designated Caretaker Redux, Paul Is Dead, Perplexed Music
  • Frederick Keeve
    Key Cast
    "Jason Holden"
  • Ricky Palomino
    Key Cast
    "Brandon Wykowski"
  • Aaron Cavette
    Key Cast
    "Adam Thompson"
  • Juliet Doherty
    Key Cast
    "Isabella Holden"
  • Christopher Pawl
    Key Cast
    "Max Holden"
  • Jeanette Driver
    Key Cast
    "Karen Holden"
  • Angelle Brooks
    Key Cast
    "Nadine"
  • Moises Parra
    Key Cast
    "Eduardo Navarro"
  • John J. Todd
    Key Cast
    "Ryan"
  • Nader Hamed
    Key Cast
    "Artistic Director"
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Genres:
    Drama, Fantasy, Gay love story, Magical realism, Family drama, Classical music and ballet
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 33 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 23, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    250,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Red - 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2:3:5
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Silicon Beach Film Festival
    Culver City
    United States
    June 15, 2019
    LA Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Pro-Fun Media
    Country: Germany
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Belgium
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Luxembourg
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Netherlands
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Austria
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Sweden
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Switzerland
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Israel
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Portugal
    Rights: All Rights
    Country: Poland
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Frederick Keeve

Frederick Keeve has been writing most of his life, either for pleasure, academically, for research, or professionally for the entertainment business. His first short story, The Lost Island, was published in a limited edition when he was in sixth grade. He was always at the top of his class both academically and creatively. Keeve’s first film was Maxine Waters EPC, starring Edward Alan Young. This first foray into filmmaking was a documentary short film about an employment preparation center in in South Central Los Angeles seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers on KCET public television. He next conceived, wrote, directed, produced and composed the music for the award-winning film From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff which featured many legendary stars and directors, and was Gregory Peck's last completed film.
Mr. Keeve has many feature length, narrative screenplays in development and pre-production. He recently completed a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology. His published dissertation is entitled A Phenomenological Study of the Experience of Humanist, Spiritual and Transpersonal Films on Positive Organizational Behaviors in the Workplace. Keeve enjoys combining his passion for film with his long-time interest in psychology, media, music and organizational studies. He is also an accomplished musician, music director, accompanist, and composer. In 2010, he wrote the music, book and lyrics for an original musical, Three: Songs from the Heart, produced in Los Angeles under the auspices of the Festival of New American Musicals. Keeve was fortunate to attract Broadway caliber talent to his project, including Ilene Graff in the lead role, Marcus Choi, and Lance Roberts helming the director’s chair.
Keeve recently competed a 20-minute multiple award-winning short film, Designated Caretaker Redux, to be shot as a full-length feature film next year. He is passionate about storytelling, filmmaking, and the creative arts. In addition to being an educator, teacher, counselor and actor, Keeve has been writing screenplays for about 20 years. He has had the good fortune to see some of them developed and produced into films. Mr. Keeve’s completed films also include the award-winning short Cadillac City, as well as the recently completed feature film, The Accompanist, a fantasy/drama gay love story with magical realism and classical ballet and classical music as the backdrop.
Keeve has a unique voice coupled with a highly-refined artistic aesthetic that fuels his lifelong goal is to elevate people's consciousness through his art—as a filmmaker, producer, composer, musician, director, writer and actor.

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Director Statement

I create my art, especially with filmmaking, from a very personal space. In my most recent feature film, The Accompanist, the idea was born as I sat at the grand piano at a local ballet studio where I play piano for ballet classes. I grew up trained as a classical pianist and wanted a vehicle to not only be able to use my original piano music for the score, but to tell the story of gay love against the backdrop of classical ballet and classical music. I felt the LGBTQ community has been underserved as far as complex gay stories that show gay love realistically with all its angst and beauty. I wanted to show a story that was real, and also show the world of classical ballet more realistically, not what audiences see in Hollywood films. Particularly, I wanted to show the complexities, both good and bad, of gay male relationships. Mixing in a bit of magical realism, family drama, and in this film, Jason's (the lead character) relationship with his teenage children, I wanted to evoke a dramatic and compelling story full of tragedy and hope. I also wanted to portray not only domestic abuse, but the beauty of gay male love and of family love as well. Jason needs to be honest with his children about his sexual identity, and also he needs to be honest with himself about his love for Brandon, a troubled ballet dancer. Being able to send people back in time with his music only adds to the mystery and suspense of the story.
In my own life, the story has many parallels, not only the dance and music aspects, but as far as my experiences as a gay male. I was married to a woman for many years and have four beautiful, amazing children. However, when my wife divorced me several years, that put me on a path to explore my sexuality, especially in terms of gay male relationships. I had several relationships with men and learned a lot about myself and my sexuality, and I was most recently married to a man for almost seven years. I had to have that difficult and awkward talk with my children, particularly my youngest who was only ten at the time, and explain that their Dad preferred to be with men and to also introduce the man I was with to my children and family. Fortunately, my family embraced my relationships and accepted me for who I am in terms of my sexuality. I have interwoven many of these personal themes into The Accompanist and hope that the film not only entertains audiences, but also helps to shed light on more realistic portrayals of gay male relationships, the intricacies of family dynamics, and the beauty of classical ballet and classical music.
I was fortunate to be able to film at the ballet studio where I play piano and used local ballet dancers and teachers in the film. I also filmed in my local community where I live in Venice, California. I feel proud that the story and the production has evolved into a 93-minute film that shows not only the complexities of gay male relationships, but the complexities of family life as well. Being able to also show the beauty of classical ballet through class and audition sequences using local ballet dancers and teachers from the ballet studio adds to the realism of the film.
Whether I tell a story through a documentary short film about an employment preparation center in in South Central Los Angeles seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers on KCET public television, where I worked as a counselor, or the story of the great actor-artist Michael Chekhov and his professional teaching partner George Shdanoff, whom I studied acting with when he was in his 90s, in the award-winning film From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff, or my recent 20-minute multiple award-winning short film, Designated Caretaker Redux, I always try and bring myself as an artist, front and center, and my life experiences in a very personal way to tell a compelling story that will touch audiences.
The Accompanist, a fantasy/drama gay love story with magical realism and classical ballet and classical music as the backdrop, reflects my vision in the theme of the film "using the healing power of art to unite and celebrate who we truly are." I'm very proud of my diverse cast and the portrayal of the gay male experience through realistic, fully-realized, complex characters, and shining a light into gay relationships covering such areas as domestic violence, sex, career ambition, love and connection.
My lifetime goal is to use the vehicle of film and my passion for film and storytelling to elevate people's consciousness through my art.

Thank you for reading my Director's Statement and I very much appreciate your consideration of my film in your festival.

Warmly with much love,

Frederick Keeve