|Occupation||Director, screenwriter, film producer|
Bala Palanisamy is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and producer, working in Tamil cinema. Often considered to be one of the finest Indian directors, Bala is widely acclaimed for "revolutionizing Tamil cinema" through his realistic, dark and disturbing depiction of the working class on celluloid screen.
Just within directing a handful of films, his movies went on to win 6 National Awards, 13 State awards, 15 Filmfare Awards, 14 International Festival Awards and numerous coveted state awards which created a storm within the Indian movie scene. Apart from the awards, actors who played lead roles were transformed into brand new avatars and became stars.
Bala was introduced by lyricist Arivumathi to director Balu Mahendra. Initially he was working as a production assistant in Balu Mahendra movie. Later Bala turned to work with him as assistant director in his movies. Bala made his directorial debut with Sethu in 1999, that gave a break to Vikram, the film's lead actor, who was also struggling in the Tamil film industry for almost a decade without a hit and recognition. More than 60 distributors saw the film and hesitated to screen it because of its tragic ending. The film was released on a low profile without any advertisement but after the first days the film started running to packed houses just through 'word of mouth'. The film was said to have initiated a 'new wave' as it received critical acclaim and became a hit. Its success led to remakes in Kannada (Huchcha), Telugu (Seshu) and Hindi (Tere Naam) languages.
"Bala is unique in many ways. The way he changed Tamil cinema's character was commendable ... There were many who tried for a change. Among the new generation of filmmakers, Bala leads the pack in bringing a change in Tamil cinema's outlook and approach." Shaji N. Karun, who headed the jury of the 56th National Film Awards
South Indian Cinematographers Association (SICA) Awards – Best Director
Arjun Reddy remake controversy
Director Bala was chosen as the director for Varmaa, the Tamil remake of Arjun Reddy, for which the rights were bought by E4 Entertainment. Principal photography was wrapped up in September 2018. On 7 February 2019, E4 Entertainment issued a press statement stating that they would go for a complete re-shoot as they were not satisfied with the final cut provided by Bala. They added that the film would be relaunched with a completely new cast and crew while retaining lead actor Dhruv. Bala disagreed with these comments, saying it was his own decision to quit the film "in order to safeguard creative freedom" because he was asked to make changes. This became the first such incident in Tamil cinema that the producer of the film refused to release the film due to unsatisfactory final cut despite the completion of the film.
- "Varmaa controversy: Director Bala says he stepped down after he was asked to make changes to the Dhruv Vikram-starrer". Cinema Express. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- "The Hindu : A star-studded wedding". www.thehindu.com.
- Bala: Man of the moment. indiatimes.com (25 January 2010). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- Naan Kadavul fever begins worldwide!. Sify.com (3 February 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- Pyramid Saimira releasing Naan kadavul in USA. IndiaGlitz. Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- Bala: Man of the moment. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com (25 January 2010). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- Bala's change for Soundarya. Behindwoods.com (24 March 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- Saravanan, T. (9 October 2014). "Man of his word". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- "To Sir, with love". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- Kolappan, B.; Subramanian, Karthik (13 February 2014). "Master craftsman who was also a great teacher". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- "5 Filmmaking Tropes of Bala". Film Companion. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- The Hindu : About maternal bond. Hinduonnet.com (19 October 2001). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- 'You can't compare Bala to anyone else'. Specials.rediff.com (10 March 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- Exclusive: Bala on Naan Kadavul, God and faith. Specials.rediff.com (10 March 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
- Vilakudy, Rajaneesh (28 January 2010). "I never expected a film like Naan Kadavul from Tamil". Rediff.com. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "First look of Jyothika-Bala film". The Times of India. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Naachiyar first look: Suriya unveils Jyothika's never-seen-before avatar, see pics". Indian Express. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Jyothika, G.V. Prakash to star in Bala's next". The Hindu. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "E4 Entertainment not happy with Bala's Varmaa; to re-shoot the Arjun Reddy remake with a new team". Cinema Express. 7 February 2019. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- "Varmaa controversy: Director Bala says he stepped down after he was asked to make changes to the Dhruv Vikram-starrer". Cinema Express. 9 February 2019. Archived from the original on 10 February 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Sekar, Raja (7 February 2019). "Varmaa: Tamil remake of cult Telugu film Arjun Reddy dropped; producers and director Bala at loggerheads". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
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