SOURCE: NeoClassics Films Ltd.

August 05, 2008 03:01 ET

NeoClassics Films Lands "The Black Balloon"

Aussie Indie Comedy Hit Set for U.S. Theatrical Release in October

VANCOUVER, BC and CULVER CITY, CA--(Marketwire - August 5, 2008) - Canadian-based NEOCLASSICS FILMS LTD. ("NeoClassics") is pleased to announce that it has just acquired from ICON ENTERTAINMENT GROUP North American distribution rights (including Canada) in all media for Australian coming-of-age comedy "THE BLACK BALLOON." It is a story about fitting in, discovering love, and accepting your family for who they are -- and in this case an autistic older brother who takes the family on an emotional roller-coaster ride. "The Black Balloon," directed by talented first time feature director Elissa Down and starring Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Gemma Ward and Toni Collette, was awarded The Crystal Bear for Best Feature within the Generation 14 programme at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival. "The Black Balloon" is produced by Tristram Miall, producer and executive producer of the much-loved films, "Strictly Ballroom" and "Looking for Alibrandi."

"THE BLACK BALLOON" was acquired in a mid six-figure deal and is slated as NeoClassics' second U.S. theatrical release. It is scheduled to open in key U.S. cities in October. Distribution newcomer NeoClassics licenses independently-produced feature-length motion pictures for all media from filmmakers around the world. Canadian-based with U.S. operations run from the Culver City offices of its U.S. subsidiary, NeoClassics is initially distributing directly to theaters in the U.S. with plans to add direct theatrical distribution in Canada and the U.K. It sells all other rights worldwide.

NeoClassics' first U.S. release, "Surviving Crooked Lake," is set for theatrical release in September. The Slamdance Film Festival award winner is a coming of age story about four 14 year-old girls who encounter death and overcome extreme adversity on a summertime canoe trip to the north woods, where everything that can go wrong does. Quickly becoming the "go-to" guys for indie coming-of age product, NeoClassics is presently in negotiation on some four additional theatrical titles for North American release. NeoClassics is targeting an aggressive release schedule of a dozen indie theatrical films for 2009.

NeoClassics is releasing its U.S. theatrical product through its NeoClassics and Tigertail Flix labels. It is initially focusing on platform releases in three to ten key urban markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The NeoClassics label is being branded as quality independent fare typical of festival product, with a view toward building a long-term following for its product. Product for Tigertail Flix includes youth-oriented films, genre films such as horror and action, as well as a wide array of diverse product for internet distribution and new media.

NeoClassics' management team is headed by Irwin Olian, CEO and Chairman, a highly successful entrepreneur with a broad range of experience in entertainment and finance, including positions as business affairs executive with ICM and senior attorney with Warner Bros. in Burbank. He has founded four successful public companies in a variety of industries ranging from mining to biotechnology. Most recently, he helmed Pan African Mining Corp., which was acquired this June in a $160 Million buyout by Asia Thai Mining.

NeoClassics' seasoned team also includes Phil Breen, Exec. V.P. of Business & Acquisitions, formerly Senior V.P. with Sony's Triumph Pictures; Jerry Pierce, a Director, formerly Senior V.P. Technology with Universal Pictures; Frederic Demey, Senior V.P. Distribution, experienced as an independent international sales agent; Mike Kananack, V.P. Sales & Acquisitions, highly experienced in the international marketplace; and Jeffrey Hardy, Director of Marketing, who has provided data and marketing advice to a wide array of companies in the industry through his firm Big Horse Incorporated.

We are very excited to be taking out "THE BLACK BALLOON" in North America, as it is a wonderfully directed and highly entertaining comedy with serious underlying themes relating to autism. This well-acted coming of age picture features a top Aussie cast with particularly outstanding performances by Luke Ford ("THE MUMMY 3") and Toni Collette ("LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE"), and newcomer supermodel Gemma Ward. A box office hit at home in Australia, we believe American audiences will respond enthusiastically to its entertainment value as well as its compelling underlying message.


"Irwin Olian"
Irwin Olian
Chief Executive Officer

Contact Information

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