THINKFilm has picked up North American rights from FortissimoFilms to Neil Armfield's drug drama Candy, which received its world premiere in competition at Berlinin Feb.

Heath Ledger and fellow Australian and rising star Abbie Cornishplay young lovers torn apart by heroin addiction. Geoffrey Rush plays a morallydubious friend and dealer.

Australian stage director Armfield's feature debut is based onLuke Davies' novel. THINKFilm plans to release the picture later in the year.

"Candy beautifully captures both the exhilarating highs and themaddening lows of youthful folly," THINK theatrical division chief MarkUrman said.

"Not only does it confirm Heath Ledger's standing as abrilliant leading man, it also establishes Abbie Cornish as the next importantinternational star to emerge from Australia."

"We have been admirers of the great distribution andmarketing work the THINKFilm team does for their films and we have been waitingto find the right film to work on together with them," Fortissimo's WouterBarendrecht said.

"We are pleased that with Candy we are of like minds and that they willbe the ones to bring this powerful film to North American audiences."

THINKFilm's executive vice president of acquisitions and businessaffairs Randy Manis negotiated the deal with Cinetic Media on behalf ofFortissimo and the filmmakers.