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Keep the Lights On

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Keep the Lights On chronicles an emotionally and sexually charged journey of two men in New York City through love, friendship, and addiction. Documentary filmmaker Erik (Thure Lindhardt) and closeted lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth, Damages) meet through a casual encounter, but soon find a deeper connection and become a couple. Individually and together, they are risk takers—compulsive, and fueled by drugs and sex. In an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity while being true to himself. Director Ira Sachs’s fearlessly personal screenplay is anchored by Lindhardt, who embodies Erik’s isolation and vulnerability with a gentle presence. Harrowing and romantic, visceral and layered, Keep the Lights On is a film that looks at love and all of its manifestations, taking it to dark depths and bringing it back to a place of grace.

Reactions, Awards & Festivals

“STUNNING! Moving and totally engrossing.”

Simon Abrams


"Forget Brokeback Mountain; Keep the Lights On is the grittiest and most heartbreaking gay love story of our times."

Dan Heching

NEXT Magazine

“Easily the finest dramatic film I saw at Sundance this year.”

Andrew O’Hehir


“Beautiful and devasting.”

Tom Hall

Filmmaker Magazine

“A must-see.”

David Fear

Time Out New York

“(A) beautifully aching love story. Sach’s stunner is a front-runner for best American film of the year.”

Eric Hynes

The Village Voice

Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - Best Feature Nominee

Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - Best Director Nominee (Ira Sachs)

Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - Best Actor Nominee (Thure Lindhardt)

Film Independent Spirit Awards 2013 - Best Original Screenplay Nominee (Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias)

Winner! Outfest 2012 - Outstanding Screenwriting in a US Dramatic Feature Film

Winner! Outfest 2012 - Outstanding US Dramatic Feature Film

Winner! Berlin International Film Festival 2012 Teddy Award - Best Feature Film

Sundance Film Festival 2012 - Official Selection

Sundance Film Festival 2012 Grand Jury Prize Nominee - Dramatic Film

Cast & Crew
  • Erik Rothman : Thure Lindhardt
  • Paul Lucy : Zachary Booth
  • Claire : Julianne Nicholson
  • Alassane : Souleymane Sy Savane
  • Director : Ira Sachs
  • Writers : Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
  • Producers : Ira Sachs, Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin
  • Executive Producers : Ali Betil, Adam Hohenberg, Lars Knudsen, Jawal Nga, Jay Van Hoy
  • Cinematography : Thimios Bakatakis
Technical Info
  • Production Year : 2012
  • Release Date : September 7, 2012
  • Countries of Production : USA
  • Languages : English
  • Running Time : 106 Minutes
  • Screen Ratio : 1.85:1
  • Sound : Dolby
  • Color : Color
  • Rating : Not Rated
DVD/Blu-Ray Special Features

Audio commentary with Director Ira Sachs

Behind the Scenes

Deleted Scenes

Teaser Trailer

In Search of Avery Willard (Blu-ray Exclusive)

Cast Audition Tapes (Blu-ray Exclusive)