October 6, 2022

Fund for Irish Studies at Princeton University presents “Screening Ireland: A Life in Film with Lenny Abrahamson”

Princeton University’s Fund for Irish Studies continues its 2022-23 series with “Screening Ireland: A Life in Film with Lenny Abrahamson,” an interview between Academy Award-nominated and Irish Film and Television Award-winning director Lenny Abrahamson and Visiting Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Professor in Irish Letters and Chair of the Fund for Irish Studies Fintan O’Toole. The conversation will take place on Friday, October 14, at 4:30 p.m. at the James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau Street. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. The theater is an accessible venue, and guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at at least one week prior to the event date.

lenny abrahamson stands by red brick wall, wearing blue cap and glasses

Lenny Abrahamson. Photo Credit: Photo by Molly Keane

Lenny Abrahamson is an Irish film and television director best known for directing acclaimed independent films and commercials as well as the 2015 Academy Award-nominated Room, starring Brie Larson. His first feature film, Adam and Paul, was released in 2004 and quickly became a critical and box office hit. Adam and Paul was nominated for eight Irish Film and Television Awards and won Best Director for Abrahamson. His second feature film, Garage, was selected for Director’s Fortnight at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and won the CICAE Art Cinema Award. Garage also won the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Script and Best Actor at the 2008 Irish Film and Television Awards. Abrahamson’s other independent films include What Richard Did, The Little Stranger and Frank. Recently, Abrahamson directed Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, a 12-episode, 30-minute series for BBC and Hulu starring Alison Oliver and Joe Alwyn. He also directed Normal People, a 12-episode series for BBC, Hulu and RTE, adapted by and based on Sally Rooney’s Man Booker-longlisted novel of the same name that was released in 2020, for which he earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series.

O’Toole’s books on politics include the recent best sellers We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland and Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain. His books on theater include works on William Shakespeare, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Thomas Murphy. He regularly contributes to The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian, The Observer, and other international publications. In 2011, The Observer named O’Toole one of “Britain’s top 300 intellectuals.” He has received the A.T. Cross Award for Supreme Contribution to Irish Journalism, the Millennium Social Inclusion Award, Journalist of the Year in 2010, the Orwell Prize, and the European Press Prize. O’Toole’s History of Ireland in 100 Objects, which covers 100 highly charged artifacts from the last 10,000 years, is currently the basis for Ireland’s postage stamps. His most recent book is Judging Shaw: The Radicalism of GBS, published by the Royal Irish Academy. He has recently been appointed official biographer of Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney.

The Fund for Irish Studies is chaired this year by O’Toole and affords all Princeton students, and the community at large, a wider and deeper sense of the languages, literatures, drama, visual arts, history, and economics not only of Ireland but of “Ireland in the world.” The lecture series is co-produced by the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Visit the Fund for Irish Studies website for more information about the lecture series events. Other fall events in the 2022-2023 series include a lecture by scholar Helen Phelan entitled “’Low the sun; short its course’: Tracing the Celtic ritual cycle through music, manuscript, and performance” on October 28, and writer and documentary-maker Manchán Magan on November 11. Additional events for the spring are being planned.

The Fund for Irish Studies is generously sponsored by the Durkin Family Trust and the James J. Kerrigan Jr. ’45 and Margaret M. Kerrigan Fund for Irish Studies.

Visit the Lewis Center website to learn about the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, lectures, and special events presented each year by the Lewis Center, most of them free.

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