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About the Film


Kelley's story

"The Madness & The Mandolin" is the story of a talented young bluegrass musician, Kelley Gibson, who learned to battle manic episodes & cope with autism spectrum disorder less through medication but instead through bringing wellness into his life.


What we can learn from Kelley

1 in 5 children in the US will suffer a serious mental illness, but our current interventions are far from perfect. Kelley's journey is one that reminds us that changing the way you live your life - through exercise, meditation, reading, and music - can sometimes be the most powerful treatment.


Meet the director

The film's director, producer, cinematographer, and editor, Sean Ackerman, MD, is a child psychiatrist in Madison, WI. Before med school, Dr. Ackerman went to film school at NYU. In telling Kelley's amazing story, he is so grateful to be able to combine his love of film and his passion for children's mental health. Dr. Ackerman believes in only supporting wellness strategies that have solid research behind them.