Name of AAPI FigureM. Night Shyamalan
What is the person’s Asian heritage or ethnicity?Indian
Area of InfluenceArts (Film director of Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Glass)
Date of birth or time period6-Aug-70
How did this individual make a contribution to their field or to society/culture at large?He is known for writing and directing supernatural thrillers with twist endings. He has won numerous awards and had much commercial success.
Why did you choose this person? What about their story speaks to you?He is one of the few Indian American directors with mainstream Hollywood success. It’s cool to have a South Asian person directing American movies that have nothing to do with Bollywood. The Sixth Sense was an instant classic and even though it came out before I was born — it’s still a great movie. I love thinking about his movies long after I am done watching them.
How does this person inspire you?Well for starters he did not change his name Shyamalan to something easy for others to pronounce. Actually there is really no excuse for not saying his name correctly — if you can say Arnold Schwarzenegger then you should be able to say M. Night Shyamalan. He also chose to not become a doctor or scientist or engineer at a time when Indian American kids were told that they had limited career choices. Be yourself and be true to yourself. Others will hopefully catch up.
What surprised you as you were learning about this person?That not all of his movies are commercial successes.
Submitted byAnonymous
City, StateLexington, MA