by Anni Bergauer
With this theme Toni Wallner invited us to the big movie night at Tiefenbach near Passau in the "Knott" Guest House and many movie fans accepted his invitation.
The pub is familiar to many Eurofilmers, because Euro Filmfestival 2010 was held there. On his own big screen Toni showed films about Tibet, Bali, Nepal, Namibia and his hometown of Passau. Since he makes up to 10 films a year, there was a colourful selection of his new travel and documentaries available. Many of the approximately 130 guests came from as far afield as Vienna or Berlin.
After being greeted by the film maker and a short welcome address by the Managing Director of Eurofilmer the first movie started: Somewhere in Tibet - Shangri La.
Brilliant images, super sound quality. Then followed the film Lebensraum im Salz der Tränen a video about the Etosha National Park in Namibia, with its flora and fauna.
In the film Dewi Sri sei Dank a film about the Balinese rice goddess, the film maker showed us the hard life of rice farmers, but also the gratitude and contentedness of the population.
The great hundred-year-flood in June 2013 in Passau at 12.89 meters was the second worst flood in the history of the city. Large areas of the Old Town and other parts of the centre were flooded. The brown waters of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers turned streets into canals. In the video Speechless Wallner documented the horrific tsunami.
After a short break we went on with his award-winning video Ein Paradies, das Namib heißt. During a trip through the desert areas in Namibia the audience learned a lot about the origin of the Namib and the wildlife living there. Impressive animal photographs and an informative commentary make this film about Africa worth seeing. Not for nothing is this film one of the most outstanding of Wallner’s films.
The next film was also set in Africa Life on the edge of the Desert about the last nomadic tribe in Namibia, the Himba. They live even today - relatively untouched by modern civilisation - as nomadic herdsmen, hunters and gatherers in very modest circumstances.
The relatives were proud that their father’s last trip was captured on film. Filming for Das Tor zum Irgendwo took two days, covering the cremation of Hindus in Nepal, filmed by Toni Wallner. This unique experience is to be taken into Bavarian schools as an instructional classroom video in the future.
Who does not remember 26th December 2004 - 10 years ago? An earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami, which killed more than 280,000 people. Mai pan rai (Back to Life) - 10 years after is a film reflection on this terrible natural disaster.
The last two films specially impressed the audience. There was lively discussion and a lot of approval for the film maker, in respect of these two very sensitively made videos. Both films will surely become cinematic highlights at various festivals and bring the film maker numerous awards.
by Anni Bergauer