Tomer Heymann followed Israeli pop/world-beat band The Idan Raichel Project on their 2006 concert tour to Ethiopia and emerged with a documentary that rollicks and rocks. The film, part lighthearted road trip, part examination of multiculturalism in Israel, is a close-up ride with the young Israeli-Ethiopian-Yemenite band members, who muse on the loss of their heritage and on their excitement as tourists embracing roots in Africa. Black Over White deftly explores their cultural ambivalence and their experience of racism back home in Israel. One of the musicians is reunited with his grandmother in Addis, music is made with rural villagers and in urban clubs, and in one poignant sequence, future immigrants to Israel meet the musicians. The culminating concert—a fusion of Middle Eastern multiethnic grooves—is a success and emotional high point, but for the band members, the meaning of home remains elusive.
From 2008 Festival: Director, Israel
The Heymann Brothers Films Company is operating almost ten years now and specializes in long term documentary projects with a social and political orientation. The company was founded by Tomer Heymann, one of the leading documentary directors in Israel: In 2001 he created It Kinda Scares Me (that depicts the relationship between him and a group of delinquent adolescent boys who are trying together to raise a play) which won the academy award in Israel, the first place in the Haifa International Film Festival and more awards in Torino, Milan, New York, Taipei and Melbourne. In 2004 his film Aviv-F****d Up Generation (about a controversial Israeli rock star) came out commercially and brought a vast amount of viewers to the cinemas, as it similarly participated in many festivals world wide.
In 2006 his film Paper Dolls (about a group of Filipino foreign workers who work as care givers for elderly orthodox men and on weekends perform as drag queens) won three awards in the prestigious Berlin Film Festival and later also won awards in Torino, Manila, Zurich, Los Angeles, Copenhagen and more. In 2007 both of his new films participated in the Haifa International Film Festival – Out of Focus about the Bat Sheva Dance Company's famous choreographer and Black Over White about the journey of the members of The Idan Raichel Project to Ethiopia.
In between Tomer managed to direct a 4 episode series for Channel 2 about people who are seeking a significant change in their lives and hope to find it through plastic surgery.
In 2003 Barak Heymann, Tomer's younger brother, joined the company and has since directed and produced an impressive number of documentary films for television and cinema
In 2005 he created together with Tomer Bridge over the Wadi for the "Yes Doco" channel, a four part series that won first place in the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum and praising reviews. About a year later the Heymann brothers created a one hour version of Bridge over the Wadi which documents the first year of a first of a kind Jewish-Arab school in Israel.
The film, co produced with the American ITVS company, participated in IDFA festival's prestigious competition, won the audience award at the Human Rights festival in Prague, the jury award at the International Film Festival in Kiev, the Magnolia award at the Shanghai Television Festival and few more awards in Slovakia, Hungary, Warsaw and more.
Barak's new film Dancing Alfonso (about an old man who loses his wife and seeks a new love within the flamenco group where he dances) was screened at the last SXSW festival in Texas and won excellent reviews. Now Barak is working on a new film about the Samaritan community for Channel 8.
Among his works as a producer particularly stands out Ari Libsker's film Stalags – Holocaust and Pornography in Israel which was first shown at the international Film festival in Jerusalem and was broadcasted on the "Yes Doco" channel. The film, which investigates the pornographic representations in holocaust literature in Israel, has been screened at the "Film Forum" in New York, in the Miami Festival, in "Hot-Docs" and more. Similarly Barak is producing a new film by the award winning Arab director Ibtisam Mara'ana (whose last film "3 Times Divorced" won first place at the last "Doc Aviv" festival) and together with his brother Tomer was directing a new 5 part series about 2 young groups from the south of Israel who are making their first steps in the music world.