Based on a True Story
STRINGS OF HOPE takes place in post-war Germany in 1945. After coming home from the front, actor Walter tries to go back to pursuing his dream of opening his own marionette theater. When he gets the chance to play for the American troops, his daughter works hard to help him build the puppets, but Walter is afraid to truly incorporate her in his artistic process. It is only when he fails to entertain the American soldiers that he is reminded of how blessed he is to have his family and realizes that he needs their help to get closer to his goal.


A Proof-Of-Concept Student Film
The short film STRINGS OF HOPE is writer/director Eva Merz’ thesis film at UCLA Extension and a Proof-Of-Concept for a historical biopic feature film about the puppet theater AUGSBURGER PUPPENKISTE. The feature film about Walter Oehmichen and his family is in development with KIKO Productions and Fred Steinbach, who has published a book about the puppet theater for their anniversary and who produced their last TV series that aired in 2000. The descendants of Walter Oehmichen are included in the development process as advisors.
Preserving Cultural Treasures
In Germany, Walter Oehmichen’s marionette theater is comparable in popularity with America’s Muppets – but unfortunately, their hand-made marionette TV series about loyalty, friendship and family have been deemed too expensive and outdated to be continued on television. Eva wants to bring the puppets back on the big screen. With the short film, she intends to spread the word about this exceptional man, an artist whose plays many German’s know, but whose success story is widely unknown. Because it is more universal, the film was shot in the English language.