Folk-rock film makes Kentucky debut in Nicholasville

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Visitors to Movie Tavern at Brannon Crossing will be among a select audience that will have the opportunity to watch a newly released film that just might make up for the summer fun many of us missed because of the ongoing pandemic.

The folk-rock film “Killian and the Comeback Kids” opened Sept. 18, and showings continue at the theater located at 150 Langley Drive, Nicholasville.

The film tells the story of a young mixed-race musician with big plans for a tour with his bandmate after graduating college.

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Before the tour, Killian makes a stop in his hometown to visit his parents, and that’s when his bandmate drops out of the tour and Killian finds himself stuck living at home again.

A chance encounter with a childhood acquaintance gives the summer new direction. Together, they build a rag-tag band of other struggling locals for one shot to play a music festival coming to their once prosperous steel town.

The film stars Taylor Purdee, who is also the writer and director, along with Emmy nominee Kassie DePaiva, Nathan Purdee, John Danchak, Shannon O’Boyle, Maddie Jane and Academy Award winner Lee Grant.

Purdee said the film came about because he wanted to produce something that wasn’t a documentary.

“And no one was going to give me the money to produce Star Wars 12,” he said. “So I needed to make a film with what I access to.”

That included “a handful of really good actors and the summertime in the rural country side.”

Purdee had also become more interested in folk and Americana music, which offered him a way to score a film.

“I was looking for a way to have a story that I could score in my own way with a banjo and acoustic guitars,” he said. “It became this sort of folk-rock musical.”

The film addresses a social trend that many people Purdee’s age are experiencing.

The film’s main character grapples with feeling stuck at home after earning an expensive college degree.

“When I was writing the film, about one-third of people my age were moving back home to live with their parents for about five years after graduating college,” he said. “I think that trend has reached an all-time high at this point.”

At the same time, the film “feels very 2020,” Purdee said, which wasn’t the case when it was being written and produced.

“I’ve been surprised at how much the film feels like the summer we missed out on,” he said. “It’s all about going to concerts with your friends — something we can’t really do right now — and living in a safe, beautiful, summertime world with no masks.”

Another common theme that emerged from the film was the importance of community, which seems more integral now that ever, Purdee said.

“So much of the film is about this small town with a community-centric vibe,” he said. “It’s that community element that we’re all missing out on so much. It’s entirely about the sense of togetherness.”

The film made its Kentucky debut at the Nicholasville theater.

Purdee said the film was strategically released in communities with an arts scene and a college or university.

“My father’s friend had been telling us about the arts scene in Nicholasville for a couple of years,” Purdee said. “We heard the place was great and wanted to make sure it was on the list of places for the film to release.”

For showtimes, visit

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0049.

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