France 's Films Distribution has acquired world rights to Albert Lamorisse's Crin Blanc and its heralded companion piece Ballon Rouge. The first film won the short film grand prize in 1952 at Cannes and was followed by Ballon Rouge which won the short film Palme d'Or in 1956 and the screenwriting Oscar the following year.

The world-renowned Ballon Rouge is a 35-minute work with no dialogue which takes place in Paris and follows the adventures of a young boy who finds a red balloon that follows him throughout the streets of the city to an ultimately tragic yet magical end.

Films Distribution acquired the rights to the two films from the director's son Pascal who played the young boy in Ballon Rouge. The rights were previously unavailable and Films Distribution's Francois Yon tells that his company is investing in a complete restoration and will re-launch the film's international profile at Cannes, where it will very likely run in one of the main festival sections.

'We are extremely confident because it's such a known film and has never been restored or open for rights. We think it will do tremendously,' he said.

Yon also sees the acquisition as a nice complement to Films Distribution's upcoming Hou Hsiao-Hsien film Ballon Rouge starring Juliette Binoche, which uses elements from the original and which will be ready for Venice.