Screenwriter, director and producer M. Night Shyamalan will serve as president of the International Jury at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival. The Indian American “has been captivating audiences worldwide with his genre films over the past three decades,” festival organizers said in a press release. The festival will be held from Feb. 10-20, 2022.
Described by organizers as ‘one of the most recognized names in filmmaking today,” Shyamalan focuses on thrillers and uses supernatural elements that “often contrasts or combines with philosophical reflections of our own existence.”
His last film, “Old,” a supernatural thriller, loosely based on the graphic novel “Sandcastle,” opened to positive reviews. Critics hailed it as his best film since “Unbreakable” and the scariest beach film since “Jaws.”
Shyamalan’s breakthrough came in 1999 with the psychological thriller “The Sixth Sense” starring Bruce Willis. It was the second highest-grossing film of that year and received six Academy Award nominations.
Since then, Shyamalan released a string of blockbusters with “Unbreakable” (2000), “Signs” (2002), and “The Village” (2004). His next film “The Visit” came after a long gap. It became the most successful horror film of 2015.
With “The Visit,” Shyamalan began financing his own films, which gave him artistic flexibility and helped to preserve the integrity of his storytelling. Two years later, he made “Split,” which was number one at the U.S. box office for three weeks in a row. His next film “Glass,” repeated the same feat. He is currently working on his next cinema film, “Knock at the Cabin,” scheduled to release in February 2013.
Shyamalan studied filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. During his final year, he shot his first feature film “Praying with Anger,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The filmmaker has also had an equally successful start in TV in 2015 with the 10-episode event series “Wayward Pine” for FOX, based on the best-selling novels. Currently, he serves as showrunner for the award-winning series “Servant” for Apple TV+. He has also directed several episodes of the series.