The value of documentary film lies in the power of the stories it tells, said the filmmaker Tomer Heymann in a talk before the screening of his film Mr.Gaga (2015) in the Monterrey International Film Festival.
Accompanied by the founder of the Festival, Juan Manuel González, Heymann shared about his beginnings in film and talked about the emergence of the idea of the film about the famous Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin.
“My mother gave me a camera, I was in New York, and I got back to Israel and made a movie with some boys from Israel and I asked a friend for help. No script, no budget”, the filmmaker said.
The documentary maker mentioned that he spent eight years filming the movie about the acclaimed choreographer, and the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, relating his life from his first kibbutz years to his rise to fame.
“I went to see a show and I was stunned, and I went to see it 25 times, after the first show I was surprised to know what this person’s name was from whom you are already going to see”.
“It was 1992 and seeing dancers was very strong for me, it was shocking and he (Nahari) opened the door for me to love the dance,” the director said.
For the making of this film, Heymann used private recordings of the essays, a lot of unpublished archive materials and spectacular dance sequences to tell the story of the artistic genius that redefined the language of modern dance.
Heymann pointed out the importance of research to develop documentary projects.
“I went to the company and tell them that I wanted to make an investigation on him and they told me he was crazy because there’s no way and I was a little rude and Ohad heard me talking. I told him I was willing to follow him because he was an important figure to me”.
“Ohad told me to rip out his story and turn it into a documentary,” he said.
Heymann mentioned that life in Israel has changed in the last 20 years and with this, the making of film of directors like Avi Nesher, with whom he received the International Career Achievement Tribute yesterday.
Both artists have participated in productions about controversial topics like homosexuality.
Heymann filmography includes Paper Dolls (2006), I Shot My Love (2010), Jonathan Agassi Saved my Life (2018) among other films.