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 39)[1]
London, England
Alma mater UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
Occupation Film director
Years active 2004-present
Notable work Monster House
City of Ember
Spouse(s) Eliza Chaikin (m. 2005)[1]

Gil Kenan (born October 16, 1976) is an Israeli-British-American director, 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]

At the first public screening of the short, it 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 anybody they could, and after a few months of interviews,[5] Robert Zemeckis offered Kenan the director's chair for the 2006 film 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's film, City of Ember, is the screen adaptation of Jeanne Duprau's 2003 novel The City of Ember.[7] Produced by Tom Hanks,[7] it was released in October 2008 to mixed reviews and poor box office results.[8][9] In 2015, Kenan's Poltergeist (2015 film) released to mixed reviews, but respectable box office results.

Personal life[edit]

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


Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Lark Director, writer
2006 Monster House Director, performer: "Thou Art Dead"
2008 City of Ember Director
2015 Poltergeist[10] Director
2016 Scream Director Episode: "Village of the Damned"
TBA A Giant[11] Director, writer
TBA Five Nights at Freddy's[12] Director, co-writer


  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. 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. ^ Fleming, Mike (March 6, 2013). "‘Monster House’s Gil Kenan Finds New Haunt: He’ll Helm MGM ‘Poltergeist’ Remake". Deadline. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 17, 2011). "New LaBeouf project gets Lava flowing". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ Roberts, David (July 28, 2015). "Poltergeist remake director to helm Five Nights at Freddy's flick". GamesRadar. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 

External links[edit]