Bala Pazhanisaamy

  • Director, Writer, Producer, Screenplay

Jul 11, 1966  in Theni, Tamil Nadu, India

Also Known as: bala

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Bala Pazhanisaamy or popularly known as Bala is an eminent Indian Director who has made memorable movies in Tamil cinema has also been even Awarded National award for his outstanding work as a director and his contribution in the Tamil industry. Known for revolutionizing Tamil cinema, he is a well-known figure whose work has been often commended by his peers. He has worked as a director, screenwriter, and producer, and is considered to get the best out of his actors. The multi-talented force is widely known for his dedication towards making movies which are considered to be the realistic, dark and disturbing depiction of the middle class on the silver screen. His work has garnered him recognition and several awards including the national award for his film Naan Kadavul (2009).

Early life
He was born on 11th July 1966 at Periyakulam, Theni. His wife’s name is Muthumalar and they have been married since 2004. His parents’ names are Palanisamy – Pachiammal.

Bala started out as a writer and director for most of his movies eventually he started producing movies as well.

As a director
He started his career with the movie called Sethu (Tamil) in 1999. The movie also gave much-needed break to Vikram, the movie’s lead star who at the time was struggling to get a firm foothold in the industry. The movie turned out to be a smash hit which made Vikram a superstar. Before the movie, Vikram had been working in the industry for ten odd years without any hit film. Bala’s movie made Vikram an overnight success story. Bala is better known for movies like Sethu, Pitha Magan, Naan Kadavul. He has also won National Film Award for Best Director in 2009 for the movie Naan Kadavul. Bala and Vikram won several awards for their film. The movie cemented Bala’s capabilities as a director and made him the most sought-after director in the Tamil Industry.

In 2001 he directed Nandha, a film starring Suriya and Laila in the leading roles with Rajkiran, Saravanan, and Rajshree play other supporting roles. The film became a huge hit and was dubbed in Hindi, Vaastav -The Return. Set in the in the town of Ramanathapuram, the movie deals trials and tribulation of a misfit and his struggle to fit into the society, also while fighting for his mother's affection. Suraiya said about Bala, ‘when Nandha happened, everything changed. I became a serious actor, and director Bala instilled in me the discipline to work without committing errors.’ Suraiya received the best actor for the movie, while Laila collected the best female lead for the movie.

Bala announced his next project Pithamagan, after Nandha with his two lead actors Surya and Vikram, an action drama written and directed by him. The movie released in 2003 also starred Laila and Sangeetha in female lead roles with actress Simran making a short appearance. Based on Jayakanthan's Nandhavanathil Oru Andi, its story is about an undertaker. Vikram won National Film Award for Best Actor for his role as Chithan, and the movie was considered a super hit. It was also generated positive reviews and critical acclaim. The film is about Chithan, who grows up among corpses without any human contact and gets entangled with drug dealers.

In 2013, he made the movie Paradesi where he was the producer, director, and writer of the movie. It had Adharvaa, Vedhicka, and Dhansika in lead roles. Based on real life incidents which took place before independence in the 1930s, the movie received mostly positive reviews. It was released on 15 March 2013. The film received rave reviews and Bala received multiple awards for the movie. According to S Saraswathi of Rediff, “Bala's Paradesi stays with you long after you walk out of the theater. In fact, you need a few minutes to reorient yourself back to the present, Bala captivates with his authentic script, unadorned visuals and down-to-earth characters a must-watch." She gave the film 4 stars out of 5. She went on to say that the movie is brilliant and, ‘Paradesi is definitively a classic with grace and power’. For the movie, Bala made 200 junior artistes go bald. He further requested them to stay bald throughout the 200-day for the film.

The movie Paradesi received, multiple nominations and awards including, Vijay Award for Best Director, SIIMA Award for Best Director, Filmfare Award for Best Director – Tamil, Nominated—Best Film at the London Film Festival, Nominated—Best Director of a Foreign Film at the London Film Festival, Nominated—Best Foreign Language Feature Film at the London Film Festival, Nominated—Best Director of a Foreign Feature Film at the London Film Festival.

As a writer
Bala has been a writer for all his movies. He began his career as a writer and director for his debut film Sethu, which generated several awards. He has been script writer for all major blockbusters like Sethu, Nandha, Pithamagan, Naan Kadavul , Avan Ivan, Paradesi, and Tharai Thappattai.

As a producer
Bala has produced Paradesi, one of his best movies in his career which received multiple awards and international recognition. Bala started producing movies with Maayavi in 2005 and later went on to produce Pisaasu (2014), Chandi Veeran (2015) and Tharai Thappattai (2016).