Canadian distributor NeoClassics Films has paid mid-six figures for North American rights from Icon Entertainment International to the Australian coming-of-age comedy The Black Balloon.

Neoclassics, a start-up that has offices in Los Angeles, plans a limited release in October on Elissa Down's feature directorial debut about a teenage boy whose efforts to enjoy a normal adolescence are stymied by his autistic brother.

Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Gemma Ward and Toni Collette star in the winner of this year's Crystal Bear for best feature at the Berlinale's Generation 14 programme. Tristram Miall produced.

NeoClassics' first US release, Surviving Crooked Lake, is set for theatrical release in September. This year's Slamdance acquisition tells of four teenage girls who overcome extreme adversity on a summer canoe trip.

NeoClassics is targeting an aggressive release schedule of films for 2009 and is in talks on four further titles.