IFC has picked up North American rights to Lance Hammer's Mississippi Delta-set drama Ballast, which screens in competition in Berlin and won the best director and cinematographer awards at Sundance last month following an enthusiastic reception by critics.

Vice president of acquisitions and production Arianna Bocco negotiated the deal with William Morris Independent's Cassian Elwes and the film is expected to launch on the day-and-date First Take platform later this year.

Ballast, IFC's second film in this year's Berlinale alongside Guy Maddin's Forum opener My Winnipeg, examines the fallout of a suicide on three lives.

Michael J Smith Sr, Jim Myron Ross, Tarra Riggs and Johnny McPhail star and Hammer produced with Nina Parikh. Andrew Adamson, John J Hammer, Mark Johnson and Aimee Shieh served as executive producers.