M. Night Shyamalan

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Manoj Shyamalan Nelliyattu

Also Known As: "M. Night Shyamalan", "Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan", "മനോജ്‌ നെല്ലിയാട്ടു ശ്യാമളന്‍", "மனோஜ் நெல்லியட்டு ஷ்யாமளன்"
Current Location:: United States
Birthplace: Mahé, Pondicherry, India
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Private
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private

Occupation: Film director, producer, screenwriter and actor, Movie Director
Managed by: Anilkumar Nair Puthalath
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private

About M. Night Shyamalan

He is known professionally as M. Night Shyamalan, is an Indian American filmmaker and screenwriter who resides and works primarily in the United States, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots that climax with a twist ending. He is also known for filming his movies (and staging his plots) in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was raised. Shyamalan released his first film, Praying with Anger, in 1992 while he was a New York University student. His second movie, the major feature film Wide Awake, made in 1996 but not released until three years later, failed to find financial success. His newest film, The Last Airbender, was released in 2010.

Shyamalan gained international recognition when he wrote and directed 1999's The Sixth Sense, which was a commercial success and nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He followed The Sixth Sense by writing and directing Unbreakable, released in 2000, which received mixed reviews. His 2002 film Signs, where he also played Ray Reddy, gained both critical and financial success, but The Village (2004) was a critical disappointment whose box office fell hard after a strong opening weekend, and Lady in the Water (2006) performed even worse. The film The Happening (2008) did financially better than his previous effort but was also panned by critics. His latest film, The Last Airbender (2010) has also received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics.

Manoj was born in Mahé, Pondicherry, India.His father, Nelliyattu C. Shyamalan, is an Indian Malayali physician belonging to a famous "Thiyya" tharavad from Mahe, Kerala. His mother, Jayalakshmi, is a Tamil Indian and an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession. In the 1960s, after medical school (at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research in Pondicherry) and the birth of their first child, Veena, his parents moved to the United States. his mother returned to India to spend the last five months of her pregnancy with him at her parents’ home in Chennai (Madras).

Manoj spent his first six weeks in Pondicherry, India, and then was raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia. He attended the private Roman Catholic grammar school Waldron Mercy Academy, though he was a Hindu (they chose it for disciplinary reasons), followed by the Episcopal Academy, a private Episcopal high school located at the time in Merion, Pennsylvania. Shyamalan went on to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, in Manhattan, graduating in 1992. It was while studying there that he adopted Night as his second name.

Manoj had an early desire to be a filmmaker when he was given a Super-8 camera at a young age. Though his father wanted him to follow in the family practice of medicine, his mother encouraged him to follow his passion. By the time he was 17, he, who had been a fan of Steven Spielberg, had made 45 home movies. Beginning with The Sixth Sense, he has included a scene from one of these childhood films on each DVD release of his films, which he feels represents his first attempt at the same kind of film (with the exception of Lady in the Water).

Shyamalan made his first film, the semiautobiographical drama Praying with Anger, while still an NYU student, using money borrowed from family and friends. It was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 1992, and played commercially at one theater for one week. When the film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, Shyamalan was introduced by David Overbey who predicted that the world would see more of Shyamalan in the years to come. Praying with Anger has also been shown on Canadian television. Filmed in Chennai, it is his only film to be shot outside of Pennsylvania.

Shyamalan wrote and directed his second movie, Wide Awake, in 1995, though it was not released until 1998. His parents were the film's associate producers. The drama dealt with a ten-year-old Catholic schoolboy (Joseph Cross) who, after the death of his grandfather (Robert Loggia), searches for God. The film's supporting cast included Dana Delany and Denis Leary as the boy's parents, as well as Rosie O'Donnell, Julia Stiles, and Camryn Manheim. Wide Awake was filmed in a school Shyamalan attended as a child and earned 1999 Young Artist Award nominations for Best Drama, and, for Cross, Best Performance. Only in limited release, the film grossed $305,704 in theaters.

That same year Shyamalan co-wrote the screenplay for Stuart Little with Greg Brooker.

Shyamalan was a winner of Padma Shri Award in 2008.

In 1993, Shyamalan married Indian psychologist Bhavna Vaswani, a fellow student whom he met at NYU and with whom he has two daughters. As of early-2008, the family resides in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, near Shyamalan's usual shooting site of Philadelphia. His production company, Blinding Edge Pictures is located in Berwyn, PA. He is currently directing The Last Airbender based on the Nickelodeon TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender.



- Devil (2010) (post-production) (story)

- The Last Airbender (2010) (written by)

... aka "Airbender" - Japan (English title)

- The Happening (2008) (written by)

- Lady in the Water (2006) (written by)

- The Village (2004) (written by)

... aka "Grey" - Philippines (English title) (review title)

... aka "M. Night Shyamalan's The Village" - USA (promotional title)

- Signs (2002) (written by)

... aka "M. Night Shyamalan's Signs" - USA (promotional title)

- Unbreakable (2000) (written by)

- Stuart Little (1999) (screenplay)

- The Sixth Sense (1999) (written by)

- Wide Awake (1998) (written by)

- Praying with Anger (1992) (written by)


- The Last Airbender (2010)

... aka "Airbender" - Japan (English title)

- The Happening (2008)

- Lady in the Water (2006)

- The Village (2004)

... aka "Grey" - Philippines (English title) (review title)

... aka "M. Night Shyamalan's The Village" - USA (promotional title)

- Signs (2002)

... aka "M. Night Shyamalan's Signs" - USA (promotional title)

- Unbreakable (2000)

- The Sixth Sense (1999)

- Wide Awake (1998)

- Praying with Anger (1992)

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Night_Shyamalan

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0796117/

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M. Night Shyamalan's Timeline

August 6, 1970
Mahé, Pondicherry, India