As Irish Director Lenny Abrahamson embarks on a defining moment in life, we take a snapshot of his career…..
In 1987 the Dublin born Abrahamson graduated with a Masters in Theoretical Physics from Trinity College. In 1988 he went on to be elected a scholar by the college in Mental & Moral Sciences and was subsequently offered a PhD in Philosophy at Stanford University which he abandoned to return to Ireland to pursue his passion for filmmaking.
It was a venture that paid off.
In 1991 Abrahamson release his first short 3 Jobs, which was awarded the Best European Short Film at the Cork Film Festival. After a successful period directing commercials, he released his first feature Adam and Paul, written by Mark O’Halloran, which won the Best First Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh (2004). His second feature Garage was selected for the Directors Fortnight (2007) at the Cannes Film Festival and also won Best Film at the Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTAs).
The same year he worked on a four-part drama for RTE, Prosperity. In an interview with Independent.ie, Abrahamson recalls while shooting Prosperity ‘One day we shot in Wolfe Tone Park. A guy came up to us. He discovered that I made Adam and Paul and that film has a big reputation on the street. He wanted an autograph and the only thing he had for me to sign was his dole card. There was something so tragic about that’. His work has repeatedly talked to the margins of Ireland’s society.
His third feature What Richard Did, written by Malcolm Campbell (2012) premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and his fourth feature, starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, and Maggie Gyllenhall, Frank, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. His fifth feature film, Room (2015), has been released to critical acclaim and has secured Abrahamson a place in Irish history as he is nominated for an Oscar, for Best Director, by the Academy, in this year’s awards taking place on February 28th.
While celebrating the news with his wife Monika, and James Hickey, Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board, at the Lighthouse cinema, Abrahamson said of the nomination “Room is a very subtly made film and directing awards tend to go to the flashier stuff but it’s the Director’s section of the academy that makes the decision so I’m very proud they can see something in what I directed and wanted to reward it.”
In a year that sees Irish film receive an unequalled 9 Oscar nominations (also nominated is the film Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley), the Director has called on the next government to invest in the Irish film industry. We can’t wait for February 28th. Good luck to all of the Irish nominees from everyone here at the Irish Store!
We can’t wait for February 28th. Good luck to all of the Irish nominees from everyone here at The Irish Store!