Jenna Kanell is an American actress, stunt performer, writer, producer, and director. She has garnered fame for portraying Tammy in ‘Demonica’s Reign’, Anna in ‘Sassy Pants’, and Kim in ‘The Bye Bye Man’. A Massachusetts native, Kanell is trained in Krav Maga. She landed her first screen role in 2010 when she was cast in the family comedy film ‘The Wizard of Agni’. A year later, she made her TV debut in an episode of ‘Drop Dead Diva’. She had her directorial debut in 2015 with the short film ‘Bumblebees’, a project that she also wrote and produced. In 2019, Kanell, along with Sophia Watson, was the co-winner of the Papaya Films Bursary Award at the 2019 FirstGlance Film Fest Hollywood for the 2018 short film ‘#SLUT’.
In 2010, Jenna Kanell debuted as an actress in the mockumentary family film ‘The Wizard of Agni’. That year, she also appeared in two short films, ‘Love Transcends’ and ‘Alone’ as well as Jack Lawrence Mayer’s comedy film ‘A Girl Named Clyde’. She drew some attention with her portrayal of Tammy in the 2011 horror film ‘Demonica’s Reign’.
After making her TV debut in a season three episode of Lifetime’s legal comedy fantasy television series ‘Drop Dead Diva’, she was featured in the music video for Kid Cudi’s song ‘No One Believes Me’. In 2012, she played Anna in the comedy-drama film ‘Sassy Pants’. Written and directed by Coley Sohn, the film revolves around a home-schooled teen who leaves her overprotective mother and moves in with her father and his boyfriend.
Kanell played Caitlyn Landale, an aspiring novelist trying to get out from under her smothering parents, in the romance drama ‘Blood Type: Unknown’ (2014). This is the first film in which she was cast as the lead character. In 2016, she portrayed a boxer in the critically acclaimed short action drama ‘Vici’. That year, she also appeared in Desmond Devenish’s crime drama ‘Misfortune’. In the horror thriller ‘Terrifier’, which was also released in 2016, she played one of the three women terrorized by a maniacal clown.
She then appeared in the 2017 supernatural horror thriller ‘The Bye Bye Man.’ Directed by Stacy Title, the film tells the story of three friends who are haunted by a terrible curse. Kanell portrays Kim, who holds a seance along with the three lead characters to find out more about the curse and is subsequently killed because of it.
In 2018, she shared screen space with Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, and J.K. Simmons in the biographical drama ‘The Front Runner’. She is set to star in the upcoming short films ‘Dandelion’ and ‘The Yellow Woman’, feature films ‘Summer Gold’ and ‘Killing Games’, and TV movie ‘Cipher’.
Trained in Krav Maga, Kanell performs most of her own stunts in her films. She has served as a second unit director and assistant director on films like ‘’No Postage Necessary’ (2017), ‘Burnt Offering’ (2018), and the upcoming ‘Reckoning’. On the set of the 2016 short film ‘Basic Witches’, she served as the art director.
In 2015, Kanell wrote, produced, and directed, ‘Bumblebees’, a short film on a differently-abled boy, who finds success in his life on his own terms. The screenplay was inspired by Kanell’s brother, who also appears in the film. Upon its release, the film garnered positive responses from the critics and was awarded the Best Film accolade at The Disability Film Challenge. When the film was making rounds on the film festival circuit, Kanell delivered a TEDx Talk titled ‘A Bee Showed Me That Limits Are Lies’.
Following the success of ‘Bumblebees’, Kanell wrote and directed ‘Void’, a science fiction short film about an alien whose spaceship crash lands on Earth and she is subsequently confronted by her own existential crisis. Her next film was ‘Civil’, which she also produced. Released in 2015, the short western drama documents a wealthy man’s fall into poverty and his desperate attempts to hold on to the one thing that he has left. Kanell also wrote and directed the short films ‘The Refuge’ (2016), ‘Max & the Monster’ (2017), ‘Support Group’ (2018), and ‘Produce the Vote’ (2018). In 2018, she directed the critically acclaimed short film ‘#SLUT’. Between 2018 and 2019, she has directed several episodes of the web series ‘Fear Haus’.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
Family & Personal Life
Jenna Kanell was born on November 12, 1991, in Brookline, Massachusetts, USA. She has a younger brother named Vance, who is both autistic and epileptic, and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Kanell is a role model for her brother, and she, in turn, believes he can accomplish anything despite his limitations. She is an ardent advocate of the concept of neurodiversity that seeks to recognize and respect various neurological differences as any other human variation.
Her family is Jewish. Many of her ancestors were originally from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. She learned how to speak, read, and write cursive and conversational Hebrew even before she turned 12.