Paper Dolls
A film and series by Tomer Heymann
<< previous  | next >>
  • Trailer
  • Scene from the film

Recent Comments

May 16, 2012, 10:17 a.m. - by Sandra K.

The movie is intense and so impressive. During watching the movie your mood will switch from happy to sad to hopeful. A great movie, well done and it will be afterwards in your mind!

2006  |  Israel  |  film: 80 min.  |  series: 30 min. x 6 episodes  |  English, Hebrew, Tagalog  |  Original Title: Paper Dolls בובות נייר


Heymann Brothers Films
2 Barzilay street
Tel-Aviv 65113

Office: 972-3-5602701
Fax: 972-3-5604082

Barak: 972-52-2742445
Ranit: 972-52-6202068




Heymann Brothers Films has been operating for over a decade and specializes in long term documentary projects with a social and political orientation, as well as very personal ones. The company was founded by Tomer Heymann, one of the leading documentary directors in Israel.Tomer & Barak In
2001 he created “It Kinda Scares Me” which won the Academy Award in Israel, and other awards in Torino, Milan, New York, Taipei and Melbourne.

In 2003 his film "Aviv - Fucked Up Generation" came out commercially and brought a vast amount of viewers to the cinemas, as it correspondingly participated in many festivals worldwide.

Read more about the Company...

Read the Biography of Barak Heymann
Read the Biography of Tomer Heymann


Barak Heymann joined the "Heymann Brothers Films" company in 2003 and has since directed and produced several documentary films and series. “Heymann Brothers Films” is an independent Israeli company dedicated to the release of documentaries on the social aspect of the Israeli/Jewish culture.

Read more about Barak Heymann

Read more about the Company...


Tomer Heymann was born in Kfar Yedidia in Israel in 1970 and has directed many documentary films and series in the past ten years, most of them long-term follow-ups and personal documentations. His films won major awards at different prestigious film festivals including his first film “It Kinda Scares Me”. “Paper Dolls” won three awards at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival and the audience’s award at the Los Angeles Festival. The film and TV series "Bridge over the Wadi”, co-produced with the American ITVS, won the Israeli Documentary Film competition, participated in IDFA Festival's prestigious competition and won many awards around the world. Tomer's new 8-part series "The Way Home" was recently broadcasted by the Yes Doco Channel in Israel and won the best documentary series award at the 2009 Jerusalem International Film Festival. 


Read more about Tomer Heymann

Read more about the Company...

The Film

"Paper Dolls" is a documentary film which explores changing patterns of global immigration and expanding notions of family through the prism of a community of Filipino transvestites who live illegally in Israel. Cast out by their families because of their sexual and gender preferences, these people work 6 days a week as live-in, 24 hour a day care givers (and in many cases as surrogate children) for elderly orthodox Jewish men, in order to earn money to send to their families in the Philippines that had rejected them. On their one free night per week, they pursue their own personal dreams as drag performers in the group they call "The Paper Dolls" in the relative freedom of cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. Despite having to deal with often harsh working conditions, threats by street criminals, fear of terrorist bombings and the constant peril of deportation, The Paper Dolls demonstrate a rare generosity of spirit, humanity and lust for life.

Award winning filmmaker Tomer Heymann enters this unusual world and by coming to know and love these subjects unearths joy, sorrow and humanity which change his life forever.

Read the full synopsis for the Series and each Episode...

Write a comment!

Buy the Film DVD
For FREE! when you buy 2 other DVDs
Now discount -0% on this DVD

Please select the desired language for the subtitle
Please wait while we are transfering you to PAYPAL SECURE website to proceed with the payment...
Cinematov 2014 Milano, Italy 2014
B'More QFest - Baltimore, US 2014
- With the films:     I Shot My Love  -   Paper Dolls  -  
>> Read more on the web at external link
Days of Jewish Culture Festival,Olomuc,Czech Republic 2013
- With the films:     The Queen Has No Crown  -   I Shot My Love  -   Paper Dolls  -  

Tomer Heymann will be available for an audience Q&A after the screenings

>> Read more on the web at external link

Sydney Transgender International Film Festival,Australia 2013 First and Last Experimental International Film Festival 2012 16th Festival de Cinema Judaico de São Paulo 2012
- With the films:     The Queen Has No Crown  -   End of The Story  -   I Shot My Love  -   Lone Samaritan  -   Bridge Over the Wadi  -   Paper Dolls  -   It Kinda Scares Me  -   Dancing Alfonso  -   Aviv (Fucked Up Generation)  -   My Village  -  

Films by Tomer Heyman & Barak Heymann, both guests of honor of the Festival. They will attend all screenings, and be available for Q&A thereafter.

>> Read the full article about this festival

>> Read more on the web at external link

Israeli Documentary Film Festival, Stockholm, Sweden 2012
- With the films:     Paper Dolls  -   Dancing Alfonso  -  
>> Read more on the web at external link

LGBT Film Days Riga, Latvia, 2011
- With the films:     I Shot My Love  -   Paper Dolls  -  
>> Read more on the web at external link

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival ,Taiwan 2011 Sziget Festival 2011
- With the films:     I Shot My Love  -   Paper Dolls  -  
>> Read more on the web at external link

Thessaloniki LGBTI Cultural Panorama, Greece 2011
- With the films:     I Shot My Love  -   Paper Dolls  -   It Kinda Scares Me  -  

A Tribute to three of Tomer Heymann's films:

Thursday, the 5th May, 18.00: "Paper dolls".

Saturday, the 7th of May, 22.00: "I shot my love", 23.00h to 23.30h Discussion with the film director- Tomer Heymann , 23.00: "It kinda scares me".

Sunday, the 8th of May, 18.00: "I shot my love", 19.00h: "It kinda scares me", 20.00 to 20.30h Discussion with the film director.

>> Read the full article about this festival

>> Read more on the web at external link

HomoChrome, Germany 2011
- With the films:     I Shot My Love  -   Paper Dolls  -  

Selected gay films now in cinemas!

Screenings will take place at:

I Shot My Love - 22/3  21:00, Filmpalette Koln

Paper Dolls - 29/3  21:00 , Filmpalette Vorauss


>> Read more on the web at external link

Motifs festival Warsaw , Poland 2008
DNA Film Festival Toronto, Canada 2007
Hamburg Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Germany 2007
Nigah Queer Fest New Dehli, India 2007
Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Filmfestival, Denmark 2007
Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, USA 2007
Vienna's International Queer Film Festival, Austria 2007
Mardi Gras Film Festival, Australia 2007
The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2007
Torino International GLBT Film Festival, Italy 2007
Planete Doc Review, Poland ‏ 2007
Transgender Film Festival , The Netherlands 2007
The Jewish Film Festival Barcelona, Spain 2007
Identities Queer Film Festival , Austria 2007
Stockholm Pride, Sweden 2007
International 1001 Documentary Film Festival, Istanbul 2007
Wayne State University, USA 2006
The Loft Cinema, USA 2006
Maine Jewish Film Festival, USA 2006
Hartford Jewish Film Festival, USA 2006
Cinemanila International Film Festival, Philippines 2006
Rio International Film Festival, Brazil 2006
Bergen International Film Festival, Norway 2006
New Zealand International Film Festival 2006
Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia 2006
Kassel Documentary Film & Video Festival, Germany 2006
Los Angeles Film Festival, USA 2006
Jewish Film Festival Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2006
Columbus Jewish Film Festival, USA 2006
Berlin Film Festival, Germany 2006
Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil 2006
Pink Apple Film Festival, Switzerland 2006
Stylus Magazine
Movie Review - Paper Dolls


Unlikelihood is a central peg in selecting documentary subjects. This is not a cynical observation: Just because Paper Dolls’ topic—the lives of several Filipino transsexuals who work as nurses for Tel Aviv’s elderly Orthodox and moonlight as the eponymous drag queens—is a laugh-riot of peculiarity doesn’t mean that the movie chose undeserving principals or that it goes overboard with any of its decisions.

Ideally, a film grounded in such unlikelihood provokes an audience to marvel at a world fairly alien to their own. Indeed, leader of the pack Chiqui, an androgynous pacific islander humming along a little too loudly to music on his headphones during a perfectly archetypal shul (picture a dozen black-hatted eighty-somethings deep in prayer) is in itself enough to justify the project. The grandeur of unexpectedness is not just a product of Israel’s insular culture, but is reflected by our sense of the positive correlation between religious fundamentalism and failure of tolerance.

>> Continue reading this Press review...

>> Read more at Stylus Magazine
The Los Angeles Times
Paper Dolls Living on Israel's margins

By Kevin Thomas, Special to The Times

After closing its borders to Palestinian workers in 2001 in response to the intifada, Israel admitted more than 300,000 immigrants to fill the employment void. Among them were many Filipinos, including a group of pre-op transsexuals who found jobs as caregivers to elderly Jews. Several put together a drag show, performing for the Filipino community in Tel Aviv. They called their lip-synch act "Paper Dolls," which is the title of Tomer Heymann's captivating, consciousness-raising documentary, as affectionate toward the Dolls as it is critical of widespread Israeli antipathy toward the transgendered and suspicion of immigrants in general, especially amid escalating terrorist attacks.


>> Continue reading this Press review...

>> Read more at The Los Angeles Times
The Boston Globe
'Paper Dolls' cuts below the surface


By Wesley Morris 

Like a lot of drag queens, the ones in Tomer Heymann's highly affecting documentary, ``Paper Dolls," don't lead a glamorous life. They've come to a suburb of Tel Aviv from the Philippines and work, mostly, as caregivers to the elderly, some of whom are Orthodox Jews. They do so in their street clothes, as men, and when their weekend shifts end, they change into their costumes (tubby Jan Jan slips into his evening gown in the stairwell of his client's building) and head to a drag show where they perform as an entertainment collective called the Paper Dolls.

>> Continue reading this Press review...

>> Read more at The Boston Globe
The New York Times
Paper Dolls In Search of a Better Life, and a Place to Be Accepted


Published: September 6, 2006

Many of the films from Israel that show up on American movie screens — and most of the documentaries — deal obliquely or directly with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this context, “Paper Dolls,” which opens today at Film Forum, is both a surprise and something of a relief.

The film, directed by Tomer Heymann, is part diary and part human-interest story. It examines the lives of a group of transsexual Philippine immigrants who work as home attendants for elderly Israelis and also perform in Tel Aviv nightclubs. It also records the filmmaker’s friendship with them, including his efforts to bring them to the attention of an influential club promoter.

>> Continue reading this Press review...

>> Read more at The New York Times
Written and directed by:  Tomer Heymann
Producers:  Claudia (Cala) Levin, Stanley Buchtel and Tomer Heymann
Cinematographer:  Itai Raziel
Original score:  Eli Soorani
Editor:  Lavi Ben Gal

This film was supported by "Cinema Project - The Rabinovich Foundation" and the "Makor Foundation for Israeli Films"