Balas was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis after incurring a pneumothorax as an infant. The advancing symptoms of the illness forced him to drop out of high school at age seventeen. After receiving a successful double lung transplant he moved to Los Angeles, California, and was accepted into the American Film Institute, where he earned a MFA in Screenwriting.
- 2010 Teleplay Competition: Original Pilot Winner (Murphy's Last Stand) 
American Screenwriting Competition
- 2006 Grand Prize Winner (The Pros and Cons of Breathing) 
International Student Film Festival Hollywood
- 2006 Best Horror/Thriller Winner (House of the Rising Sun) 
- 2005 Production Award Winner (The Pros and Cons of Breathing) 
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