Born On: 6 August 1970
Born In: Mahe, India
Career: Film director, producer, screenwriter and actor
Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan, better known as Manoj Night Shyamalan, is a famous Indian born American screenwriter, director and producer, who have belted out blockbuster success like 'The Sixth Sense', 'Signs', and 'The Village'. Acclaimed for his supernatural flicks, Shyamalan has to his credit a whole slew of hits. Most of his films have been filmed around Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, the places where he was raised. His film 'The Sixth Sense' was a huge commercial success and bagged six Academy awards including best director, best original screenplay and best film. His films are famous for their convoluted endings and often carry elements of horror or mystery in them. His films are packed with several layers of meanings and always make for intriguing watch. Due to his contributions in films, he was felicitated with Padmasree Award. This short biography provides you with all the insightful details on the life and career of M. N. Shyamalan.
Shyamalan was born on August 6 1970 in Mahé, Puducherry, India. His father, Nelliyattu C. Shyamalan was a physician and his mother Jayalakshmi was an obstetrician and gynecologist. His parents migrated to United States in 1960's, after giving birth to their first child Veena. Shyamalan was born in India, although his mother went back to Pennsylvania, six weeks after his birth. He enrolled into Waldon Mercy Academy and then went on to study at the Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania. He won a merit scholarship from New York University and graduated from Tisch School of the Arts in Manhattan in 1992. Since a very young age, Shyamalan harbored the desire of becoming a filmmaker. His father wanted him to pursue a medical career, but his true passion was forever films. However, his mother encouraged him to follow his dreams.
Shyamalan ventured into film industry by making a semi-autobiographical drama named as 'Praying with Anger'. He was a graduate student at New York University at that time. He materialized his first film by borrowing money from his friends and family. Filmed at Chennai, this is the one only Manoj Shyamalan film pictured outside Pennsylvania. This film was screened at the "Toronto International Film Festival" in 1992 and Shyamalan received a motivational comment from David Overbey. The film was also aired on Canadian television.
Though Shyamalan's second film 'Wide Awake' was filmed in 1995, it didn't came to spotlight in 1998. The film, which was co-produces by his parents, depicted the story of a 10-year-old Catholic boy named Joseph Cross who searches for god after the death of his grandfather. The film featured American film actors like Dana Delany, Denis Leary Julia Stiles and Camryn Manheim. The film got Young Artist Award nominations for Best Drama, and Joseph Cross, who played the young boy's role, was nominated for Best Performance Award. 'Wide Awake' made gross revenue of 305,704 US dollars, which was a good sum, considering the restricted release. Shyamalan co-penned the screenplay with Greg Brooker for the film 'Stuart Little', a family film released in the year 1999 which received lots of appreciation. The coming years witnessed his rocking performances through blockbuster films like 'Unbreakable', 'Signs' and 'The Village', which were directed by him under the banner Blinding Edge Pictures, his home production. Other famous films of M.N. Shyamalan include 'Lady in the Water', 'The Happening', 'The Last Airbender' and 'Devil'.
Shyamalan is married to Indian psychologist Bhavna Vaswani and the couple has two daughters - Saleka Shyamalan and Ishana Shyamalan. They reside in Williston in Pennsylvania. He launched a production company called Blinding Edge Pictures, which is located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
Manoj Night Shyamalan has given many successful films hits. Some of his famous works are: