Lenny Abrahamson has no formal training in film. He studied philosophy at TCD, graduating in 1991 with first class honours (gold medal). While at college he began playing around with video through the Trinity Video Company – a video making student society he set up with Ed Guiney.
After graduating, he directed the 16mm Black & White short film '3 Joes' (written by Michael West and produced by Ed Guiney) which won the Best European Short Film award at the Cork Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Galway Film Fleadh and the Organiser’s Award at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, and which has been seen on television and at festivals all over the world. The money for ‘3 Joes’ came from a fund in TCD set up with earnings from ‘Educating Rita’ which was shot there. Without this fund ‘3 Joes’ would probably never have been made; in the early nineties it was very, very hard to get any film projects funded in Ireland. To give some idea of what it was like at that time, ‘3Joes’ was one of only two or three shorts made that year.
After a period of post-graduate study in philosophy at Stanford University, California Lenny returned home. Since then he has directed commercials for television in Ireland and worldwide through The Speers Film Production Company. Several of his commercials have won international awards. The best known are probably the Carlsberg ‘Nightclub’, ‘Flatmates’ and ‘Jason McAteer’ jobs.
His first feature film, 'Adam & Paul' (www.adamandpaul.com), written by Mark O’Halloran and produced by Speers Film with Element Films, was released in August 2004 and quickly became a critical and box office hit. In the same year it won the Galway film Fleadh as well as the being nominated for eight IFTAs, winning the award for best director. This year it played at the Berlin Film Festival as an official selection in the Panorama section and recently won both the Grand Prix and the FPRESCI (international critics) top prize at the Sofia International Film Festival in Bulgaria.
‘Adam & Paul’ opened in the UK in June 2005 to the best reviews for an Irish film there in over a decade. It’s due to open in other territories in the near future.
Lenny is currently developing two more projects with Mark O’Halloran to be produced by Element Films – a contemporary adaptation of a Turgenev novella and a disturbing drama set in a small west of Ireland town. He is also developing a dark comedy, to be produced by Jonny Speers, set in the uniquely unpleasant world of international advertising.