The Arts Council has expressed its deep regret at the passing of Aosdána member Louis Lentin.
Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council said “It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Louis Lentin following a career of over half a century in film, television and theatre. His was a strong and brave voice, and his documentaries, in particular, shone a light on a number of issues close to his heart. We offer our sympathies to his wife Ronit, and his children Alana and Miki."
Theatre, film and television director Louis Lentin was born in Limerick in 1933 and had 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. Louis 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. Louis 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. Louis was appointed Head of Television Drama in RTÉ in 1978 establishing the Thursday Playdate and The Sunday Series. He had written for theatre and radio and taught television as well as direction and acting, and had 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 Cresendo Concepts Ltd, which has produced several documentaries including Dear Daughter - which recounts the story of Ms 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 RTE was Grandpa, Speak to me in Russian, the story of his paternal grandfather Kalman Lentin who migrated to Ireland in the 1890s from Lithuania, as many of Dublin's Jewish community had.
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