Now Available on DVD


Australia 2008 | Run time: 97 min. |PG-13

Director: Elissa Down


The Black Balloon Poster

When Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) and his family move to a new home and he has to start at a new school, all he wants is to fit in. When his pregnant mother (Toni Collette) has to take things easy, his father Simon (Erik Thomson) puts him in charge of his autistic older brother Charlie (Luke Ford).

Thomas, with the help of his new girlfriend Jackie (Gemma Ward), faces his biggest challenge yet. Charlie's unusual antics take Thomas on an emotional journey that causes his pent-up frustrations about his brother to pour out - in a story that is funny, confronting, and ultimately heart-warming.


The Black Balloon is a story about fitting in, discovering love and accepting your family. Films' Website


The Black Balloon was released in 2009 and played in over twenty locations in major cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Dallas and Philadelphia


Reviews and Articles

The Contra Costa Times (Preview Listing)

April 14, 2009


The California Chronicle (Preview Listing)

April 14, 2009


Arizona Daily Star: REVIEW (Phil Villarreal)

April 10, 2009


Denton Record Chronicle: CAPSULE (Ty Burr Wire)

April 10, 2009


Dallas Observer: REVIEW (Scott Foundas Wire)

April 10, 2009


Dallas Morning News: REVIEW (Ty Burr Wire)

April 10, 2009


Austin American Statesman (Ran wire in Print per Chris Garcia, LISTING online)

April 10, 2009


Austin Chronicle: REVIEW ( Kimberley Jones)

April 10, 2009


Indianapolis Star / Metromix Indianapolis (Geoff Berkshire Review)

April 2009


Jim Sullivan Ink: REVIEW (Jim Sullivan)

April 2009


Wicked Local ( Newton Tab): Ran Wire of AL Alexander

April 2009


The Patriot Ledger: REVIEW (Al Alexander)

April 3, 2009


Boston Phoenix: REVIEW (Alicia Potter)

April 1, 2009


Boston Globe: REVIEW (Ty Burr)

April 3, 2009


Anchorage Daily News (Capsule Listing)

March 2009 ( Seattle)

April 3, 2009


Seattle Times: REVIEW (Ted Fry)

April 3, 2009


Seattle Times (preview listing)

April 2, 2009


Seattle Weekly: Scott Foundas Wire

April 2, 2009


San Diego Reader: REVIEW (Duncan Shepard)

April 2, 2009


San Diego City Beat: REVIEW (Anders Wright)

April 2, 2009



April 2, 2009


San Diego Union Tribune (Capsule and listing)

March 2009


La Jolla Light (Capsule) Nicole Reino

March 2009 (listing)

March 19, 2009


Sun-Sentinel – RUSSEL EDWARDS, Variety Review

March 13, 2009


The Gainesville Sun: REIVEW (Bill Dean)

March 13, 2009

March 2009


Miami Herald

March 2009


The Star Tribune: REVIEW (Colin Covert)

March 2009


The Daily Herald

March 2009



March 5, 2009


The Oregonian

February 28, 2009


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

February 26, 2009


The Star: REVIEW (Greg Quill)

February 13, 2009


The Autism News (repeated from The Star)

February 13, 2009


NY Times

February 5, 2009



February 6, 2009


The Catholic Church

February 6, 2009


Catholic News

January 27, 2009


The Desert Sun

January 18, 2009



January 14, 2009


The Film Files: REVIEW (Dianne Brooks)

December 15, 2008


Tiny Mix Tapes: REVIEW (Anthony DeMatteo)

December 15, 2008


Under the Radar Mag: REVIEW (Chris Tinkham)

December 10, 2008 REVIEW (John P. McCarthy)

December 5, 2008


The Popcorn Reel: REVIEW (Omar P.L. More)

December 5, 2008


New York Times: REVIEW (Stephen Holden)

December 5, 2008

LA TIMES: REVIEW (Sheri Linden)

December 5, 2008


Metromix LA: REVIEW (Geoff Berkshire)

December 4, 2008


Mansir53 Blog

December 5, 2008


Real Movie News: REVIEW (Bailey Henderson)

December 3, 2008


Slant Magazine: REVIEW (Nick Schager)

December 3, 2008


Entertainment Weekly: REVIEW (Lisa Schwartzbaum)

December 3, 2008


Village Voice: REVIEW (Scott Foundas)

December 2, 2008


IFC: REVIEW (Neil Pedley)

December 1, 2008


NewsBlaze: REVIEW (Prairie Miller)

November 29, 2008


LAist: REVIEW (Farley Elliott)

November 23, 2008


Compuserve: REVIEW (Harvey Karten)

November 20, 2008


The Christian Post: REVIEW (Denny Wayman)

November 18, 2008


Screen Head: REVIEW (Kenna McHugh )

November 5, 2008


The National: REVIEW (Tanya Hanna)

November 4, 2008



October 16, 2008


LA Weekly: REVIEW (Scott Foundas)


LA City Beat: (Hard Copy)


Campus Circle: REVIEW (Sasha Perl-Raver)


Entertainment Weekly: (Hard Copy)




Cast & Crew

Director: Elissa Down

Writers: Elissa Down, Jimmy Jack

Cast: Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Toni Collette, Erik Thomson, Gemma Ward

Producers: Tristram Miall (producer of "Strictly Ballroom")

Composer: Michael Yezerski

Director of Photography: Denson Baker Acs

Editor: Veronica Jenet Ase

Casting Director: Nikki Barrett


2009 Prism Award

Feature Film Nominee


L’Oréal Paris 2008 AFI Award for Best Film


The Black Balloon. Tristam Miall


2008 AFI Award for Best Direction


The Black Balloon. Elissa Down


2008 Macquarie AFI Award for Best Original Screenplay


The Black Balloon. Elissa Down & Jimmy The Exploder

2008 AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor


Luke Ford. The Black Balloon


2008 AFI Award for Best Supporting Actress


Toni Collette. The Black Balloon



"The casting and chemistry between the actors is pitch perfect."

Dee Jefferson, Inside Film Australia


"One of the most genuinely enjoyable films out of Australia in years."

Megan Lehmann, The Hollywood Reporter


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