Samaritans links with movie 'Keane' for UK and Irish Premieres

Samaritans has linked with actor Damian Lewis' new film Keane as it begins its theatrical run on September 22nd. Working in conjunction with the film's distributor Soda Pictures, Samaritans hopes to highlight some of the issues people contact the charity for support on.

The lead character William Keane, in his early 30s, is struggling with the abduction of his daughter and is on the verge of a mental breakdown.
Chief executive with Samaritans David King said:" Damian Lewis gives a compelling performance and the themes brought out in Keane align with volunteers' support work throughout the UK and Ireland.

"The film shows a man searching for belonging and struggling through loneliness and a need for human connection.  He turns to alcohol - our own research has shown how readily men do this when they are 'down'.  Above all he clearly lacks support and doesn't see where to turn for it.  The problems he faces clearly parallel with many of those Samaritans volunteers give support for."

Keane is written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan.  It also stars Amy Ryan and Abigail Breslin.

In talking about the character Keane the director Lodge Kerrigan refers to the importance of positive emotional connections.  He said:" It is also apparent in the stabilizing effect that Kira (a young girl) has on his life and also on his illness.  He's so erratic at the beginning, and he really has so little support but when he starts to create emotional connections that process stabilizes him to a significant degree.  I've seen that happen in my own experience and my own interactions with people who suffer from mental illness. "

Damian Lewis also said: " We all know what's best when you have a problem is to talk it over -'to get it off your chest' - but sometimes there are reasons, especially for kids, why you feel it's something you don't want to share. It's essential then that there is somewhere to find the support you need and I'm totally behind the confidential service that Samaritans' volunteers give 24/7".

Keane was an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival as well as the London BFI Film Festival.

To see the Keane trailer go to

The film will have its' main London premiere at the Curzon Soho, Shaftesbury Avenue at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 20th September.  It continues its run there from Friday 22nd September.

It will also open on Friday 22nd September at three other venues – the National Film Theatre, London, the Irish Film Institute in Dublin and the Filmhouse in Edinburgh.  In the following weeks Keane will be shown around the UK and Ireland.

Soda Pictures have produced 50,000 Keane postcards for cinema distribution, promoting the film and carrying Samaritans logo and national UK contact number for support 08457 90 90 90 and e mail address


Notes to editors

Actor Damian Lewis will be available to answer questions about Keane at the end of the film being shown at the Curzon Soho on Wednesday September 20th.

It is the aim of Samaritans to make emotional health a mainstream issue.  Samaritans' vision is for a society where fewer people die by suicide because people are able to share feelings of emotional distress openly without fear of being judged.  Samaritans believes that offering people the opportunity to be listened to in confidence, and accepted without prejudice, can alleviate despair and suicidal feelings.
Samaritans is a registered charity, founded in 1953, which offers 24-hour confidential emotional support to anyone in emotional distress.  The service is offered by 17,000 trained volunteers and is entirely dependent on voluntary support.  Across the UK, you can call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland) for the price of a local call.  You can also write to Samaritans at Chris, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA, send an e-mail to or if you are deaf or hard of hearing use the single national minicom number 08457 90 91 92.

Edward Fletcher and Eve Gabereau started Soda Pictures in 2002.  The first feature to be released was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress and since then the company has established an impressive catalogue of world cinema and independent films. Priding itself on working with upcoming directors as well as established talent the company has grown to a core staff of six. As well as concentrating on the theatrical slate, Soda has created a relationship with DVD specialists World Cinema. Part of the Soda DVD label includes Soda Vintage and in 2006 the first title to be released was Marcel Carne's classic Hotel Du Nord.

Recent releases have included the international hit C.R.A.Z.Y by director Jean Marc Vallee and Laurent Cantet's Heading South. Soda Pictures also gave new life to the little seen Rocky Road to Dublin by Peter Lennon made in 1968 and championed first time British feature directors, Richard Hawkins (nominated for a BAFTA in 2006) and Josh Appignanesi with the controversial Song of Songs. Future releases include the highly anticipated Requiem and Old Joy starring singer Will Oldham.

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