November 30, 1966
A deft handler of both comedy and thought-provoking stories, Lenny Abrahamson was one of Ireland's premiere independent filmmakers in the late 2000s and early 2010s, best known as the director of "Adam and Paul" (2004), "What Richard Did" (2012), and "Frank" (2014). Born on November 30, 1966, Abrahamson was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, where he attended the Trinity Dublin College. However, he did not initially pursue filmmaking, but rather followed his interests in physics and philosophy. After he graduated, he enrolled at Stanford University. Instead of fulfilling his initial goal of earning his PhD in philosophy, Abrahamson began experimenting with making short films with his 16mm camera. One of his first short films was "3 Joes" (1991), which went on to win the Best European Short award at the Cork Film Festival, as well as several other festival honors across Europe. Emboldened with his recent success, he travelled back to his home country with the intent of solely pursuing filmmaking. Although his first few gigs were directing commercials, he eventually completed his first feature-length film titled "Adam and Paul," a black comedy about two heroin addicts from Dublin. While "Adam and Paul" was well-received, his next film project brought him international recognition. "Garage," a film about a cloistered gas attendant, was recognized not only by the Irish Film and Television Awards, but also other international film festivals, including a win of the C.I.C.A.E. Award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. His first foray into television came when he directed an ambitious drama series titled "Prosperity" (RTÉ Two 2008). Abrahamson followed "Prosperity" with a return to film, this time with a movie adaptation of the novel Bad Day in Blackrock titled "What Richard Did," which was loosely based on real-life incident where a young Irish student was violently beaten to death outside a nightclub. In 2014, Abrahamson continued to impress with "Frank," a dark comedy about a rock musician who performs wearing a giant cartoon-figure head, which premiered in the year's Sundance Film Festival. Starring Academy Award nominees Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal and based on the real life of British post-punk musician Chris Sievey and his alter ego Frank Sidebottom, "Frank" was widely praised for its oddball and whimsical sense of humor.