GEMMA'S BALLOON: Gemma Ward will have something other than walking the runways on her mind come February: walking the red carpet in Berlin for the world premiere of her debut feature film.
"The Black Balloon" has just been selected for the "Generation 14 Plus" youth competition of the 58th Berlin International Film Festival, which runs Feb. 7 to 17. Ward costars with an Australian cast that includes Toni Collette and two other newcomers, Rhys Wakefield and Luke Ford, in a story about autism — a subject close to director Elissa Down, who has two autistic brothers.
But will Ward prove to be just another so-so model-turned-actor? Not according to Australian film critic Lynden Barber, who saw a preview and described Ward's performance as "surprisingly impressive" in "one of the strongest Australian films of the last few years."