M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN (Director, Writer, Producer) directs his eighth feature film
with The Happening, following Praying with Anger, Wide Awake, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable,
Signs, The Village, and Lady In The Water.
The astronomical success of his chilling psychological thriller The Sixth Sense catapulted
Shyamalan into the stratosphere of being one of the most sought after young filmmakers in
Hollywood. The Sixth Sense has become one of the highest grossing films of all time and
continues to break records in home entertainment. The film received a total of six Academy
Award nominations including one for Best Picture, and two for Shyamalan for Best Director and
Best Original Screenplay. Additionally, the film was awarded three People's Choice Awards for
Favorite Motion Picture, Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture and Best Actor for the film's star,
Bruce Willis. Shyamalan re-teamed with Willis for Unbreakable, which also starred Samuel L.
Following Unbreakable, Shyamalan also had tremendous worldwide success with the
supernatural thriller Signs starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. He followed with The
Village, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, and
Sigourney Weaver, and Lady In The Water starring Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Shyamalan began making films at the age of 10 in his hometown of Philadelphia. At 16,
he had completed his 45th short film. At age 17, he stood before his parents, both doctors,
surrounded by pictures of the other twelve doctors in the family, and informed them that
although he had graduated cum laude and received academic scholarships to several prestigious
medical programs, he had instead decided to attend the New York University Tisch School of the
Arts to study filmmaking. During his final year at NYU, he wrote an emotional screenplay
made up of personal moments entitled Praying With Anger about a young exchange student from
the U.S. who goes back to India and finds himself a stranger in his own homeland. In 1992, with
the funding to make his first low-budget feature, Shyamalan shot the story on location in India
and served as the film's writer, director, producer and star. The film was selected to be screened
by the New York Foundation of the Arts' prestigious First Look Series, and in July 1993, was
named Debut Film of the Year by the American Film Institute of Los Angeles.
The following year, Shyamalan wrote another spiritual screenplay Labor of Love which
he sold to 20th Century Fox. In June 1995, he was asked by Columbia Pictures to write the
fantasy screen adaptation of Stuart Little based on E.B. White's beloved children's classic of the
His second feature film, Wide Awake, starred Rosie O'Donnell, Denis Leary, Dana
Delaney and Robert Loggia and was released in 1997. Shot entirely on location in Philadelphia,
the film tells the story of the close relationship between a boy in Catholic school and his
Shyamalan formed his own production company, Blinding Edge Pictures, which is based
in a suburb outside of Philadelphia where he also currently resides with his wife and two
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