Manoj Shyamalan, known professionally as M. Night Shyamalan, is an Indian and American screenwriter, film director, producer and occasional actor known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots. Shyamalan was born in Mahé, a town in the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. The son of Indian parents, his father, Nelliate C. Shyamalan, is a Malayali from Mahé and graduated with a medical degree from JIPMER, while his mother, Jayalakshmi, is an ethnic Tamil who is an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession. In 2008, Shyamalan was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India.
Shyamalan gained international recognition when he wrote and directed 1999’s The Sixth Sense , which was a commercial success and later nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
Shyamalan spent his first six weeks in Puducherry, and then was raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia. 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. Shyamalan earned the New York University Merit Scholarship in 1988.
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.
His most well-received films include the supernatural horror thriller The Sixth Sense (1999), the superhero thriller Unbreakable (2000), the science fiction horror Signs (2002), and the historical drama-horror film The Village (2004). Afterwards, Shyamalan released a series of poorly received but sometimes financially successful movies, including, the dark fantasy film Lady in the Water (2006), the horror thriller film The Happening (2008), the film adaptation of The Last Airbender (2010), and the science-fiction film After Earth (2013). Following the financial failure of After Earth, Shyalaman's career was revived with the release of the found footage horror The Visit (2015) and the psychological horror Split (2016), the latter of which is set in the same universe as his previous film Unbreakable. He was a producer for Devil (2010) and was instrumental in the creation of the Fox science fiction series Wayward Pines.
Shyamalan is also known for filming and setting his films in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was raised. Most of his commercially successful films were co-produced and released by the Walt Disney Studios' Touchstone and Hollywood film imprints.
Kher has written and starred in a play about his own life called Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, which was directed by Feroz Abbas Khan.
Until recently he served as chairman of the Indian Film Censor Board. He is an alumnus of National School of Drama (1978 batch) and was its director between 2001 and 2004.
In 2007, Anupam Kher, with his batchmate of NSD, Satish Kaushik, started a film production company, Karol Bagh Productions. Their first film, Tere Sang, was directed by Satish Kaushik.
He was appointed in 2010 as the goodwill ambassador of the Pratham Education Foundation, which strives to improve children's education in India.