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The Black Balloon is a Australian/British AFI award-winning drama-based feature film which stars Toni Collette, Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Erik Thomson, Gemma Ward as well as a cast of newcomers. It is directed by first time feature film director, Elissa Down.

The film was released in Australian cinemas March 6, 2008. The world premiere was at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany in February 2008, where the film received a Crystal Bear as the best feature-length film in the Generation 14plus category.


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 it easy, he is put 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 cause his pent-up frustrations about his brother to pour out.



The Black Balloon received positive reviews. The first weekend of release, The Black Balloon was number 10 on the Australian box office with an intake of $500,010. Rotten Tomatoes reported that, based on 19 reviews 95% of them were positive.


The Black Balloon won, on November 11, 2008, the Best Children’s Feature Film in the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The award was accepted by Producer Tristram Miall and Director/Writer/Co-Producer Elissa Down.

Since then The Black Balloon received numerous awards (and nominations) in Australia and at Film Festivals around the world:

Filming locations

  • Holsworthy Public School, NSW
  • Bardia Parade, Holsworthy, NSW
  • Richmond University Swimming Pool, NSW
  • Granville Performance Hall, NSW


  1. "When We Get There" - Josh Pyke
  2. "Even" - Simon Day (Ratcat)
  3. "Heartbreak Hill" - Michael Yezerski
  4. "The Black Balloon Theme" - Michael Yezerski
  5. "Bath Time" / "Bullet Boy" - Michael Yezerski
  6. "In The Poo" / "The Bus" - Michael Yezerski
  7. "The Lolly" - Michael Yezerski
  8. "A New Game" / "Water Babies" - Michael Yezerski
  9. "Learning To Swim" - Michael Yezerski
  10. "The Kiss" - Michael Yezerski
  11. "The School Fight" - Michael Yezerski
  12. "Fall At Your Feet" - Glenn Richards (Augie March)
  13. "Aftermath" - Michael Yezerski
  14. "The Walk Home" - Michael Yezerski
  15. "The Greatest ACT In History" - David Campbell, Bert Labonte
  16. "Afloat! The Conga" - Claire McCarthy, Miriam Rihani, Afro Moses

"Fall at Your Feet" is a rendition of the Neil Finn (Crowded House) song.The soundtrack won 'Best Original Soundtrack' at the 2008 APRA-AGSC Screen Music Awards for Michael Yezerski, with Josh Pyke winning 'Best Original Song' for "When We Get There", which he co-wrote with Yezerski.Songs also featuring in the film include "Better" by The Screaming Jets, "Don't Go Now" by Ratcat, "Streets of Your Town" by The Go Betweens, "Know You Know" by The Someloves and Jimmy Barnes' "Driving Wheels".

See also


  1. The Black Balloon at Rotten Tomatoes
  3., Kazakh comedy wins Asia-Pacific best movie award
  4., Balloon Grabs Asia-Pac Screen Award

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