Tuvalu

Tuvalu is the first feature film of the young German director Veit Helmer, made in the wake of the success enjoyed by his Surprise! which was presented a few years ago in the Festival of European Films and which gave rise to admiration for the talent of its director. The life of Anton who works in a shabby pool starts and ends with this dilapidated building. And his only aim is to go to an island in the ocean named Tuvalu. Our hero, in love with Eva, who's one of the customers of the pool, has joined forces with his blind father in the old man's struggle to save the pool, which remains to be the only old building left in the district. Father and son do their best to bring to naught the attempts of counterfeiting businessmen who have endeavoured to buy the building and build giant facilities there. Meanwhile, Anton is also experiencing dilemmas due to mishaps in his relationship with Eva... Veit Helmer, who tries to create a post-modern atmosphere in this film of his which is made with almost no dialog, develops it on a narration model carrying the influence of German Expressionism in particular, and he focuses it on the difficulties of a character in his communication with the outer world. The unique "electric" between the characters and events brings his film close to the worlds of the kings of silent cinema, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Tuvalu, in which the "existentialist" characters of a "pastel" world are reflected on the screen as if parading, also becomes more worthy through the meaning that master French actor Denis Lavant has attributed to the character Anton, someone who has imprisoned his communication with the world within four walls. Beautiful actress Chulpan Khamatova boasts no less. This young and dynamic film, a sort of show of respect to the art of cinema, among the motifs of which miracles and coincidences also come forth, is a prominent example of "young cinema" smothered with awards in various festivals. And almost a harbinger telling us that the name Veit Helmer will be carried into the future...
Germany
'
1999

Director
Veit Helmer

Script
Michaela Beck
Veit Helmer

Cinematography
Emil Christov

Editing
Araksi Mouhibian

Production
Veit Helmer Film Produktion Wormserstrasse 4

Cast
Chulpan Hamatova
Denis Lavant
Ej Callahan
Philippe Clay

Music
Jürgen Knieper

Awards
Best Direction Bavarian Film Awards; Audience Jury Award
Production Design Award Hof Int. Film Days; Audience Award Max Ophüls Festival; Audience Award Molodist; Vision Award for Cinematography Slamdance
Special Jury Award Fantasporto; FIPRESCI Award Flanders; Best New Director Promotional Award

Festivals
6th Festival on Wheels
EUROPE EUROPE