Gil Kenan

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Gil Kenan
Gil Kenan, 34th Annie Awards, 2007.jpg
Kenan in 2007, at the 34th Annie Awards
Born (1976-10-16) October 16, 1976 (age 41)[1]
London, England
Alma mater UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
Occupation Film director
Years active 2002-present
Notable work Monster House
City of Ember
Eliza Chaikin (m. 2005)

Gil Kenan (born October 16, 1976) is a British-American film director and screenwriter, best known for his work on the films Monster House and City of Ember.

Life and career[edit]

Kenan was born in London. When he was three, his family moved to Tel Aviv. At age eight, they moved to Reseda, Los Angeles.[1]

He studied at the film division of the University of California, Los Angeles where he received a MFA degree in animation in 2002.[2][3] For his graduate thesis, he created a 10-minute stop-motion/live-action film, The Lark.[2][4]

The first public screening of The Lark caught the attention of Jordan Bealmear, who was an assistant at Creative Artists Agency.[5] The agency sent hundreds of copies of Kenan's short to interested parties in the film industry, and after a few months of interviews,[5] Robert Zemeckis offered Kenan the director's chair for his first feature, 2006's Monster House.[5] Executive produced by Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg,[5] it was nominated for a 2006 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.[6]

Kenan followed Monster House with City of Ember, a post-apocalyptic adventure based on Jeanne Duprau's 2003 novel.[7] Produced by Tom Hanks,[7] it was released in October 2008 to mixed reviews but poor box office results.[8][9] Kenan's next film, Poltergeist, a remake of the 1982 Tobe Hooper film of the same name, was released in May 2015. In July of that same year, Kenan signed on to direct and co-write a film adaptation of the video game Five Nights at Freddy's[10] but later withdrew from the project.

Personal life[edit]

In 2005,[1] Kenan married Eliza Chaikin, who served as art director on City of Ember.[3]


Year Film Director Other Notes
2004 The Lark Yes Yes Writer; short film
2006 Monster House Yes Yes Performer: "Thou Art Dead"
2008 City of Ember Yes
2015 Poltergeist Yes
2016 Scream Yes Episode: "Village of the Damned"
2017 The Little Hours Yes Special thanks


  1. ^ a b c d Daly, Steve (July 26, 2006). "House Beautiful". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Furniss, Maureen (November 27, 2002). "Fresh from the Festivals: November 2002's Film Reviews". Animation World Network. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Burke, Anne (July 14, 2006). "Monster Man". UCLA Magazine. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (February 22, 2007). "Scary 'Monster House' comes direct from the basement". Jewish Journal. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Murray, Chris (August 7, 2006). "Gil Kenan: on Monster House, Robert Zemeckis & His Big Break". PopcornTaxi. Archived from the original on February 8, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ Baisley, Sarah (January 23, 2007). "Cars, Happy Feet and Monster House Vie for Best Animated Oscar". Animation World Network. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Wolff, Ellen (October 10, 2008). "Director Kenan Shines a Light on 'City of Ember'". Animation World Network. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ "City of Ember (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  9. ^ "City of Ember (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Five Nights at Freddy's". Deadline. Retrieved January 4, 2018. 

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