1. Manoj Shyamalan , known professionally as M. Night Shyamalan, is an Indian-American film director, screenwriter, producer and occasional actor known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.
2. He is also known for filming and setting his films in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was raised, and for including plot twists in most of his works.
3. In 2008, Shyamalan was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India.
4. Shyamalan was born in Mahe, Pondicherry in South Western India to South Indian parents. In the 1960s, after medical school and the birth of their first child, Veena, his parents moved to the United States.
5. Shyamalan spent his first six weeks in Puducherry, and then was raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia.
6. Shyamalan was raised Hindu. He attended the private Roman Catholic grammar school Waldron Mercy Academy, followed by the Episcopal Academy, a private Episcopal high school located at the time in Merion, Pennsylvania.
7. Shyamalan earned the New York University Merit Scholarship in 1988. graduating in 1992.
8. It was while studying there that he adopted “Night” as his second name.
9. Shyamalan had an early desire to be a filmmaker when he was given a Super 8 camera at a young age.
10. 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 seventeen, the Steven Spielberg fan had made forty-five home movies.
11. On each DVD release of his films , he has included a scene from one of these childhood movies, which he feels represents his first attempt at the same kind of film.
12. Shyamalan made his first film, the semi-autobiographical drama Praying with Anger, while still a student at NYU, using money borrowed from family and friends. He wrote and directed his second movie, Wide Awake.
13. Wide Awake was filmed in a school Shyamalan attended as a child
14. That same year Shyamalan co-wrote the screenplay for Stuart Little with Greg Brooker.