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M. Night Shyamalan Grants Unprecedented Access Into Filmmaker's Private World

NEW YORK, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- SCI FI Channel goes inside to reveal the true story of renowned writer, producer and director M. Night Shyamalan. Helming the project is director/producer team Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect), and Callum Greene (Lost in Translation/3AM), who were both approved by Shyamalan and granted unprecedented access to the filmmaker and his mythology. Greene was honored last week by the IFP as a nominee for the 2004 Independent Spirit Award. Additionally, Greene's two recent projects Chrystal and Second Best with Joe Pantoliano have just been accepted into the Sundance 2004 Film Festival.

With The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs, Shyamalan has forged a distinctive brand of atmospheric, ethereal suspense that captivates audiences and critics alike. This extraordinary project will delve into the filmmaker's intensely private world, going underground to explore the deeply personal side that has shaped Shyamalan's vision. Partially filmed on the set of The Village, Shyamalan's upcoming summer theatrical release, this multi-part television event will push the boundaries of convention with incredibly personal footage of one of the great filmmakers of today.

"M. Night Shyamalan is a fascinating filmmaker and person," said Bonnie Hammer, President of SCI FI Channel. "At SCI FI, we are always trying to take things to another level. Our hope is to dig out the source of this normally secretive artist's inspiration. We are thrilled at the possibility of doing an out-of-the-ordinary project on an extraordinary filmmaker."

"Protecting the privacy and integrity of my set, for the actors and crew, is of considerable importance," said M. Night Shyamalan. "Agreeing to give unlimited access is a new experience for me. I hope that by giving the SCI FI Channel access to the set of 'The Village', this project will demystify some of the mysteries of the filmmaking experience."

In recent months, the Channel has made a number of deals with some of SCI FI's brightest luminaries for "big event" projects. Most recently, Scorsese joined the list, which includes fellow Hollywood heavyweights Bryan Singer, Dean Devlin and Gale Anne Hurd, to produce a number of the groundbreaking miniseries that have quickly become SCI FI's signature. SCI FI will also be re-teaming with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television for a new miniseries project for 2005. From the Emmy Award-winning projects Steven Spielberg Presents Taken, Frank Herbert's Dune and Frank Herbert's Children of Dune, SCI FI has single-handedly revived the concept of "event television."

Shyamalan's The Village began filming in October, and stars Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, Adrien Brody, Bryce Howard and Sigourney Weaver among others. Set in 1897, The Village tells the story of a close-knit community with a race of creatures residing in the woods around them. Further details of the film are shrouded in secrecy.

Academy Award-nominated writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has been challenging and enchanting audiences worldwide with his unique explorations of the human psyche. His body of work includes the international blockbusters The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, which have combined for over $1.25 billion in worldwide box office. Shyamalan began making films at age 10 and later studied filmmaking at NYU. His first feature, Praying With Anger, was named Debut Film of the Year by the American Film Institute. Shyamalan continues to work from his Blinding Edge Pictures production company just outside Philadelphia, an area which serves as his creative inspiration and is prominently featured in his films. Shyamalan was nominated for the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for his film The Sixth Sense, which received a total of six nominations, including Best Picture.

SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic website and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 82 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a program service of Universal Television Networks, part of the Universal Television Group, a division of Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE), the U.S.-based film, television and recreation entity of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.

"I'd Feel That Fear"

Source: SCI FI Channel

CONTACT: Trade - Jean Guerin, +1-212-413-5890, Consumer - David Westover, +1-212.413.5878, both of SCI FI Channel

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