Manoj Nelliyattu "M. Night" Shyamalan ( SHAH-mə-lahn; born August 6, 1970) is an American filmmaker and actor. He is known for making films with contemporary supernatural plots and twist endings. He was born in Mahé, Puducherry, India, and raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania.
He made his directorial debut in 1992 with his first movie Praying with Anger. His second movie was the comedy-drama film Wide Awake (1998). His most well-received films include the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense (1999), the superhero thriller Unbreakable (2000), the science fiction thriller Signs (2002) and the period-piece thriller The Village (2004). For The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Afterward, Shyamalan released a series of poorly received but sometimes financially successful movies, including the dark fantasy Lady in the Water (2006), the eco-thriller The Happening (2008), The Last Airbender (2010) (an adaptation of the animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender), and the science fiction film After Earth (2013). Following the financial failure of After Earth, Shyamalan's career was revived with the release of the found footage horror film The Visit (2015) and the psychological thriller Split (2016). His latest film is the superhero thriller Glass (2019), which is the third and final chapter of his Unbreakable film series.
In addition to his directorial work, Shyamalan was a producer for the horror film Devil (2010). He was also instrumental in the creation of the Fox science fiction series Wayward Pines (2015–2016), for which he executive produced and directed the pilot episode. He also appeared in an episode of the series Entourage. Shyamalan was also called in for an uncredited rewrite for the teen film She's All That (1998) and also served as a writer for the film Stuart Little (1999).
Shyamalan is also known for filming and setting his films in and outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Most of his commercially successful films were co-produced and released by the Walt Disney Studios' Touchstone and Hollywood film imprints. In 2008, Shyamalan was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India.