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Lenny Abrahamson

2017 Broadcast Craft judge

Lenny Abrahamson was born in Dublin in 1966. While studying physics and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin, he directed short videos with the Trinity Video Society, which he co-founded with Ed Guiney. 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. He 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 & 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, 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 over 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 and the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.

Lenny’s fourth feature, Frank, stars Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, and Maggie Gyllenhaal and tells the story of a young wannabe musician caught up in an avant-garde pop band led by the eponymous and enigmatic Frank, who always wears a giant fake head. Frank premiered to great praise at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Lenny is the director of the critically acclaimed Room, starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress for which Brie Larson won and Best Adapted Screenplay. In addition, Room won the People’s Choice Award at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, was one of the AFI Awards Movies of the Year, and appeared on numerous critics’ top ten lists. It is Abrahamson’s fifth feature film.

Lenny is developing a number of projects including The Little Stranger a film based on Sarah Waters’ novel, with Potboiler and Film4, Neverhome and adaptation of Laird Hunt’s civil war novel, with Element Pictures and Film 4.