Bala (director)

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Director Bala in 2011.jpg
Born Bala Pazhanisaamy
(1966-07-11) 11 July 1966 (age 48)
Periyakulam, Theni, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation director, screenwriter, film producer
Years active 1998–present

Bala (Tamil: பாலா; born 11 July 1966) is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and producer, working in Tamil cinema. Bala is widely acclaimed for "revolutionizing Tamil cinema"[1][2][3] through his realistic, dark and disturbing depiction of the working class on celluloid screen.[4][5] He has received several awards and recognition for his work, including the National Film Award for Best Director for his fourth feature film Naan Kadavul (2009).[6]


Bala was born on 11 July 1966 in Narayanathevanpatty, Theni district, Tamil Nadu, India. He studied Tamil Literature at The American College in Madurai. He admitted, that, as a youngster, he was not interested in studies and had dropped in his college days and was considered by many as he won't come up in life. At certain point he determined to prove himself to the society. After a struggling period he came to Chennai and entered the film industry.

Film career[edit]

He started his film career as an assistant director to National Film Award–winning director and cinematographer Balu Mahendra. He 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 hesistated 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'.[7][8] The film was said to have initiated a 'new wave'[9] 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."

—Malayalam film-maker Shaji N. Karun who headed the jury of the 56th National Film Awards[10]

Bala's next film was Nandha which gave a career boost to Suriya. His third film Pithamagan broke all the sentiments which were prevailing in Tamil cinema and fetched actor Vikram a National Award for a powerful performance with hardly few verbal dialogues. In 2009 he released Naan Kadavul in Tamil featuring Arya and Pooja Umashankar for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Direction; he was the third film-maker from Tamil Nadu to do so. The film revolved around an aghori, with most of the scenes being filmed in the Hindu holy place Kasi.

In 2011, his fifth directorial Avan Ivan, considered his first comedy film, released, starring Vishal Krishna and Arya. While the film opened to mixed reviews by critics, the lead actors gained critical acclaim for their performances, particularly Vishal.

Bala's next film was in 2013, Paradesi, starring Adharvaa, Vedhicka and Dhansika in the lead.The film's music was scored by G. V. Prakash Kumar. The film is based on real life incidents that took place before independence in the 1930s.[7] It released on 15 March 2013. The dubbed version of Telugu was released with the same name. The film opened mostly to positive reviews.[8] Sify said that the box office collections were average.


  1. ^ Bala: Man of the moment – Times Of India. (25 January 2010). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  2. ^ Naan Kadavul fever begins worldwide!. (3 February 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  3. ^ Pyramid Saimira releasing Naan naduvil in USA – Tamil Movie News. IndiaGlitz. Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  4. ^ Bala: Man of the moment – Times Of India. (25 January 2010). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  5. ^ Bala's change for Soundarya – – Tamil Movies News – Bala Soundarya Rajinikant. (24 March 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  6. ^ 56th National Film Awards Announced – Tamil Movie News. IndiaGlitz. Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  7. ^ The Hindu : About maternal bond. (19 October 2001). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  8. ^ 'You can't compare Bala to anyone else'. (10 March 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  9. ^ Exclusive: Bala on Naan Kadavul, God and faith. (10 March 2009). Retrieved on 21 June 2011.
  10. ^ Vilakudy, Rajaneesh (28 January 2010). "I never expected a film like Naan Kadavul from Tamil". Retrieved 16 March 2013. 

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