Lenny Abrahamson and Irish Film London

Lenny Abrahamson is an Academy Award nominated director and one of Irish Film London’s original patrons, supporting the organisation since the early years with renowned casting director Ros Hubbard.

Who is Lenny Abrahamson?

Leonard "Lenny" Abrahamson is an Irish film and television director. Lenny is known for his films Adam & Paul (2004), Garage (2007), What Richard Did (2012), Frank (2014), the multi Oscar-winning Room (2015), and The Little Stranger (2018)

Lenny studied physics and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. While at university he directed short videos with the Trinity Video Society, which he co-founded with Ed Guiney (now of Element Pictures). He graduated in 1991 with first class honours. His first short film, 3 Joes, won the Best European Short Film Award at the 1991 Cork Film Festival and the Organiser's Award at the 1992 Oberhausen Short Film Festival.

From commercials to films

Lenny directed numerous commercials for television in Ireland, the UK and worldwide before taking the helm on his first feature film, Adam & Paul, a stylised downbeat comedy written by Mark O'Halloran and released in 2004. Adam and Paul won the Best First Feature award at the 2004 Galway Film Fleadh and the Grand Prix at the 2005 Sofia International Film Festival. His second feature film, Garage, another collaboration with writer Mark O' Halloran, was selected for Director's Fortnight at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and won the CICAE Art and Essai award. The film also won the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Script and Best Actor at the 2008 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs).

Lenny has also directed for television: his four one-hour TV films for RTE, Prosperity, also won the Best Director for TV award 2008 Irish Film and Television Awards. What Richard Did, his third feature, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. The film, written by Malcolm Campbell, presents a stark portrait of a privileged Dublin teen whose world unravels with one summer night. What Richard Did premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was also selected for the 2012 BFI London Film Festival.

Frank and Room establish lenny’s voice

Lenny's fourth feature, Frank, an off-beat comedy about a young wannabe musician starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson was a hit with critics such as Mark Kermode of the Observer, who listed it in his Top 5 Films of the year in 2014. 

Room, Lenny's latest film brought Emma Donaghue's book of the same name to the screen. It stars Brie Larson as a woman who has been held captive for seven years, and whose 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) was born in captivity. Their escape allows the boy to experience the outside world for the first time. The film also stars Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, and William H. Macy. 

Room premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on 4 September 2015 and had a limited release in the United States on 16 October 2015, to acclaim from critics. Larson won multiple awards for her performance, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, the BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award. Room also received three other Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Lenny Abrahamson’s recent work

Lenny’s latest movie release is The Little Stranger, written by Lucinda Coxon, based on the novel of same name by Sarah Waters and starring Domhnall Gleeson. He is currently (2019) working on a six-episode adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People for BBC Three.

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