Bala Hijam

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Bala Hijam
Bala shooting in Ladakh (August 2014)

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Bala Hijam in Manali during the shooting of Zindagi on the rocks

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Her importance

2015: Bala Hijam shooting for Sandrembi Cheishra
Bala Hijam 2014
Bala Hijam 2014
Surja Bala Hijam. Photo: Bala Hijam
With Soma. Bala started acting in the films when she was a class 8 student.
Bala Hijam in School Karusi (Let's go to school)
Bala Hijam
Bala Hijam in Luhongbagi Ahing
Bala Hijam
Bala Hijam white shooting Lemmi Amasung Sorinchon
Bala: Jan 2014
Bala: Jan 2014
Bala Hijam Photo: Bala Hijam
Sur Bala hijam. Photo: Bala Hijam
Bala Hijam
Bala Hijam
Neelakasham Pacha Kadal Chuvanna Bhoomi
Surja Bala Hijam’s Malayalam debut
Surja Bala Hijam goes south
Sur Bala Hijam
Sur Bala Hijam
Late 2013: Kanyakumari to Kashmir to Kohima, the nation woke up to Sur Bala Hijam
Neelakasham Pacha Kadal Chuvanna Bhoomi (Malayalam/ 2013)

Bala Hijam is an Indian film actress and a native of Imphal, Manipur, India. After an early debut in Manipuri films when she was in school, she acquired pan-Indian success in 2013.

Surjabala Hijam is the only pan-Indian film star in the history of Indian cinema, having played the female lead in films from places as far apart as Manipur, Kerala and the Hindi-Urdu belt.


The actress was born Surjabala Hijam to Hijam Biramangol and Hijam Suniti Devi.

Her mother is, in Bala's words, ‘a simple housewife.' As for her father, he runs a small business of his own. They are four brothers and sisters. she has an elder sister, a younger sister and a younger brother. she's the second eldest amongst her siblings. (From Ratankumar Ningthouja e-pao)

Childhood and early career

She was born in 1991 in Sagolband Salam Leikai, Imphal West, Imphal, Manipur, India

Bala made her film debut in Oken Amakcham's Telanga Mamei a Manipuri film as supporting actress. Being interested in dancing and acting since her childhood, Bala came into the limelight of the Manipuri film industry with the help of her uncle Irom Maipak.

How she got into the films

(Adapted from interviews given by Bala)

It was her Kaka (uncle) Irom Maipak (cinematographer) who gave her an opportunity to act in front of camera. She was in the 7th standard then. She was offered a role of a girl appearing as the younger sister of Olen (co-actor) in the film called "Telanga Mamei".

Later she appeared on an advertisement for Manikumar Jewelry followed by participating in a modeling competition and gradually went on to take up acting in films.

After Tellanga Mamei , she took part in various Stage performances. It was when she was about to appear for Matric Exam she appeared in the film “Khangdrae da Nongdamba” by Romi Meitei. She took the role of a supporting actress in the film. Then she acted in 3 or 4 video album directed by Amar Raj narrated the young and dynamic superstar of Manipur Hijam Bala.

She has never taken any acting classes. Kaka Irom Maipak taught her how to pose in front camera in different angles and to act. At the same time, she also got tips from Da Romi Meitei (Director), Cinematographer Kaka RadhaMohon, Da Yaima (Yaimayai), Oja Birjit Ngangom and other elders in the Industry.

After two years of struggle she started taking the lead role. ManipurTimes 19 July 2013

She normally asks for 25,000 rupees for a film but sometimes she does not take the whole amount.

She signs about two film in a month or sometimes, if necessary, three. (From Ratankumar Ningthouja e-pao)


Readers/ representatives of Bala Hijam might like to copy the filmography below, add more films, correct spelling, and above all, add the year of each film’s release after its name. The updated version may be sent back to us on Facebook

By mid 2013, Bala had appeared in 30 films and 8 music albums including the hit album Ho leisabi


Telanga Mamei (Director : Oken Amakcham),


Khangdreda Nongdamba (directed by Romi Meitei)


Panthungi Wangmada, , a hit


School Karusi,, a hit


Manipur Express (Director : O Goutam) , a hit

Yaiskul Pakhang Angaoba ( Director : Homen d Wai ) , a hit


Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi Dir: Sameer Thahir

Tamoyai gi Ebecha by H. Pilu

Mounao Thoibi by Romi Meitei

Lingjel by Jitendra Ningombam

Chow Chow Momo na Haobara Singju Bora na Oinambra director Rk Jiten


Tumba Chaba Khangdana Director Ojit Kumar Elangbam

Sathiba Danger

Sanagi Tangbal

Meerang Mahum

23rd Century:Ngasigee Matungda

Amukta Ani

Thabaton 2

Delhi Mellei



Da Lem

Nungshit Mapi


Angangba Mayek (Pizza 2)

Kum Kang Kum Kabi Chang

Moreh Maru


Eikhoi Pabunggi

Tharo Thambal




Iche Tampha

Itao Ibungo Nungsibee


Mani Mamou

Selfie (nang ei)

Mr. Khadang

Thamoido Ngairi

Years not known

Abirkhan (d: Pilu)

Hangningee Thamoisina (d: I. Somni)

Hiktharaba Samji (PIZZA)

Ichagidamak (d: Jaher-Uddin),

Imagi Laman Singamdrae (directed by Romi Meitei) , a hit

Khambaton (d: Homeshor),, a hit

Lamja shara , a hit

Luhongbagi Ahing ( Director: Brijgupta Laishram) , a hit

Mihatpa (d: Kishorjit),

Mikithi ( Director : Romi Meitei)

Nongdambada Tanoubi

Nongmadi Soidana (d: I. Somni)

Sanarembi (d: Pilu).

Sangkhraba Machu

Taru Taru Maktabi,, a hit


Other projects

Singarei gi Leinam by Shanta Potsangbam

Zindagi on the Rocks

A pan-Indian star

Bala Hijam is not the first crossover star from the North East. Apart from Assamese talents, Cyndy Khojol (see North-Eastern cinema) and Lin Laishram preceded her. However, Bala is only one to have landed leading roles outside the NE--and in as many as two Indian languages.


Her first south Indian film Neelakasham Pacha Kadal Chuvanna Bhoomi starring Dulquer Salman & Sunny Wayne is Directed by :Sameer C Thahir was released in august 2013

Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi is a soul searching road movie, which explores politics, religion and identity through a graceful love story. The highly-talked about film revolves around the story of two youngsters, who put together a trip from Kerala to Nagaland travelling on bikes. Dulquar Salman and Sunny Wayne are playing two youngsters in Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi. Kasi (Dulquer Salman) and his best friend Suni (Sunny Wayne) go on a road journey in an effort to trace out the Kasi's Naga lover Assi (Surja Bala)

Surja Bala Hijam essays the role of Assi, an engineering student from Nagaland in the film. She joins an engineering college in Kerala under North East quota. During her studies, she meets Dulquar and becomes friend with him. Their friendship later turns into romance. (By Shekhar OneIndia May 28, 2013)

However, they are forced to part ways as their cultural identities come in-between.

The Director sent her the script in English language through mail. They ‘Skyped’ on characters and costume. When she reached the shooting site she was trained for 5 days discussing on the script, she spoke mostly in English and sometimes she spoke Malayalam in the film.

As the first north-east girl to debut in Malayalam, Bala says she was more than excited when the offer came in. “Kerala was an absolute surprise package. Everything felt exotic, right from the language to food and clothes. At first she was not able to eat anything as coconut oil goes into almost every dish in Kerala. Coming from a land of mustard oil users she was totally uncomfortable with the local flavours. But now she can polish off plates of food with that typical coconuty taste,” says the actress who stayed in Kerala for a 20-day shoot.

The actress adds. “When the contract came she didn’t know Dulquer was the son of a superstar.”

“Of course she was a bit nervous about the language part. But her character has very few Malayalam lines, the rest of the dialogues are in English. [Directr Samir Tahir] had briefed her well about her character and so there was no confusion. During her stay in Kerla she picked up a couple of words but she can’t remember any now.” (Navamy Sudhish NewIndianExpress 2013/07/16)

Response to NPCB

Malayala Manorama [1], for decades India's highest circulated newspaper, declared about Surja, in a headline, 'Bala creates history.'

DilSe wrote: 'Surja Bala Hijam is a well known Manipuri actress, who has done a decent job'

The film did above-average business at the box office. Collections were decent, but because the film was an expensive one profits were not very high.

Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi had a good opening week of Rs 2.86 Crore from 53 theatres in Kerala. The cost of production is reported as Rs 5.5 Crore, a bit on the higher side [for a Malayalam film] considering the release count.

By the third weekend the gross was Rs 4.62 Crore and the total distributor share had crossed the Rs 2 Crore mark. BoxOfficeVerdicts writes, "The BO performance is appluadible for road movie, but the reasonably high cost of production may [deprive] it of a clean HIT status. But NPCB shows that even experimental ventures can break even in Mollywood , if made well."

Hindi-Urdu films

Bala made her Bollywood debut in Directed By Ravindra Suryavanshi forthcoming Film Zindagi on the Rocks which was to have been released in 2014.

She has a leading role in the Hindi film. The film is about adventure where 7 friends set out for trekking after college. 80 percent of the shooting took place in Manali, 20 percent in Mumbai. The director is new and the depiction of the film is about certain happenings during the trekking.

Zindagi on the Rocks

Zindagi on the Rocks was 70 per cent complete by the end of November 2013. Some songs needed to be shot and the film was expected to be completed by April 2014.

The film has been shot substantially in Himachal Pradesh, including in places like the barren, oxygen-starved, arctic deserts surrounding Lake Chandrataal (4,300 metres/ 14,100 ft), where no feature film has ever been shot. Chandrataal in Spiti district is almost 4,000 ft above the treeline. As a result atmospheric oxygen is low. The filmmakers had wisely taken several cylinders of oxygen along, because Bala passed out more than once and had to be administered oxygen. Zindagi has a romantic duet by the banks of the lake.

Bala speaks Hindi with a slight Manipuri accent. Instead of dubbing her voice, as is sometimes done for actors from outside the Hindi-Urdu belt, the film's makers decided to use her own voice 'because the accent has an innocence and makes her sound cute.'

Forthcoming films

Chayetpa Tomnao by Sana Lai, Cast: Mahesh,Sushmita,Bala & Artina.

Chintheeba Chintheebi

Hoo Chaage

Lemmi Amasung Sorinchon based on a romantic Tangkhul Novel Cast: Kaiku , Bala , Roshan , Suraj , Khayaikhan Shimrey

Meerang Mahum



She won the Special Jury Award 2011 from Film Academy Manipur (FAM).

FAM Best Actress Award (2012 -13).

FAM Best Actress Award (2013 -14).

Best actress at 8th Manipur State Film Festival


Debut as supporting actor: Telanga Mamei.

First film as heroine: Khangdreda Nongdamba.

Bala made her Hindi-Urdu debut in director Ravindra Surya Bashi's forthcoming Film Zindagi on the Rocks.

Address: Sagolband Salam Leikai, Imphal West, Manipur.

See also

Some other Manipur-related articles

Manipur: 1890-1930 (History)

Manipur: 1946-52 (Political history)

Maisnam Betombi Singh

Manipur: cuisine

Mary Kom

Mary Kom, the film

Cinemas of the North-East

Assamese cinema: This page has, at the bottom, links to several other articles in related to Assamese cinema.

Manipuri Cinema

North-Eastern cinema

Individual pages about:

Abenao Elangbam

Aribam Shyam Sharma

Bala Hijam

Hamom Sadananda

Lairenjam Olen

MA Singh/ Maibam Amuthoi

Mohen Naorem

Ningthoujam Rina

Premjit Naoroibam

Raju Nong

Romi Meetei

Sushmita Devi Mangsatabam

Tonthoi Leisangthem

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