Theatre, film and television director Louis Lentin was born in Limerick in 1933 and has over forty years experience of working in the arts in Ireland. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts. In 1957 he began his professional career as a theatre director and quickly established himself by establishing Art Theatre Productions in 1959, opening with the Irish premieres of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame and Krapp’s Last Tape.
He was invited to join RTÉ in 1961 by Hilton Edwards, who was then Head of Drama. While working as a drama producer for the national broadcaster, he continued to direct for theatre, touring throughout Ireland, Europe and Israel. He was instrumental in establishing Israeli television during the period 1967-1968, producing and directing its first televised productions of Christian, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Christmas celebrations.
In 1969 he returned to work again in RTÉ. In 1973 he won the Jacobs’ Irish Critics’ Award for contribution to television drama. He was appointed Head of Television Drama in RTÉ in 1978 establishing the Thursday Playdate and The Sunday Series.
He has written for theatre and radio and taught television as well as direction and acting, and has earned recognition both at home and abroad (three Banff nominations, three US International Film and Television Festival Awards, John Healy Award in 2002).
In 1990, he founded the company Crescendo Concepts, which has produced several documentaries including Dear Daughter – which recounts the story of the late Christine Buckley and her life in a Goldenbridge orphanage in Dublin; and No More Blooms a documentary detailing the Irish Governments attitude to the Jewish refugee problem from 1933-46.
His latest production for RTÉ was Grandpa, Speak to me in Russian, the story of his paternal grandfather Kalman Lentin who migrated from Lithuania to Ireland in the 1890s.
23 July 2014
The news, today, of the death of Louis Lentin is greeted with deep sadness by his Aosdána colleagues.
An artist of great integrity and passion, Louis Lentin’s multi-award winning, groundbreaking work in theatre, film and television has had a profound effect on Irish society.
While he will be greatly missed, his influence will be felt for many years to come.
Aosdána extends its sincere sympathy to his wife, Ronit, and his children, Alana and Miki.