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Gil Kenan (born October 16, 1976) is a British-American filmmaker and animator.

Gil Kenan
Gil Kenan, 34th Annie Awards, 2007.jpg
Kenan at the 34th Annie Awards
Born (1976-10-16) October 16, 1976 (age 42)[1]
Alma materUCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
OccupationFilmmaker, animator
Years active2002-present
Notable work
Monster House
City of Ember
Eliza Chaikin (m. 2005)


Life and careerEdit

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

Kenan studied at the film division of the University of California, Los Angeles where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in animation in 2002.[2][3] For his graduate thesis, he created a 10-minute stop-motion/live-action short film titled 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 in order to interest 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, Monster House (2006).[5] Executive produced by Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg,[5] it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Happy Feet.[6]

Kenan followed Monster House with City of Ember, a post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure film based on Jeanne Duprau's 2003 novel of the same name.[7] Produced by Tom Hanks,[7] it was released in October 2008 to mixed reviews and 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 popular video game series Five Nights at Freddy's by Scott Cawthon,[10] but later withdrew from the project. In January 2019, it was announced that Kenan will co-write a script along with Jason Reitman for Ghostbusters 3, which is scheduled for release in 2020.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

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


Year Film Director Other Notes
2004 The Lark Yes Yes Writer; short film
2006 Monster House Yes No
2008 City of Ember Yes No
2015 Poltergeist Yes No
2016 Scream Yes No Episode: "Village of the Damned"
2017 The Little Hours No Yes Special thanks
2020 Ghostbusters 3 No Yes Writer; co-written with Jason Reitman
TBA A Boy Called Christmas Yes Yes Co-wrote with Ol Parker


  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.
  11. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 25, 2019). "'Morbius' & 'Ghostbusters' Solidify Summer 2020 Release Dates". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 25, 2019.

External linksEdit