Searching Eva

Searching Eva” is a film beyond all conventions, challenging in its subject matter and visually and aesthetically fascinating. You dive into Eve’s worlds and come out differently.


Eva, 25, an Italian living in Berlin, leads a public life, with all the consequences. At age 14, she changed her name, declared privacy as an outdated concept, and published her first diary entry online. Since then she shares her life with the world in the most intimate detail. She lives diverse identities: cat owner, poet, sex worker, bisexual, ex-junkie, feminist, anarchist, model, star sign Virgo …

She grew up on the Internet, where she turned her self-search into a public spectacle that raises the question of what “a woman has to be”. Their reality is virtual and life is “something like an indie film” – a subjective construction under their own direction. We jump from Berlin to their old home Italy, from Mexico to Athens, as if we were clicking through their Instagram profile. Eva runs fashion shows in Paris, is massaged by Sugar Daddies in middle-class hotels, takes drugs, blows her friend’s hair, plays with her cat. Instead of following a narrative thread, the film revolves around themes that raise Eve’s life on her own: questions about sexuality, gender, the concept of work and that of a fixed identity. In her blog posts, traces of thought and fragments of ideas, Eva demonstrates her acumen and disarming honesty.

About Pia Hellenthal:

Pia Hellenthal is a writer and director for fictional and documentary films. In 2013 she graduated in the study of the media arts at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Her short films have been screened at international festivals such as Karlovy Vary, New York and Oberhausen and have received awards such as the Prix H.R. Giger “Narcisse” for the best short film. In addition to her own films, Pia Hellenthal works for publications such as Vice, where her work has been nominated for the Lovie Awards. For her debut film “Searching Eva” she received the “Gerd Ruge Stipendium”, the Goethe Institut Film Residency in Beirut and participated in the dok.incubator Workshop 2018.

Director’s note from Pia Hellenthal:

“In 2014, my co-author Giorgia Malatrasi gave me a URL and said,” Read this, I do not know if I’m crazy, but I think that’s special. “I read and did not stop, there shared a young, very special Clever woman her life – meticulous and brutally honest – with kids all over the world It pushed me off and fascinated me at the same time Something about how Eve physically and mentally naked there made the feeling of our time in a nutshell. The first time we met Eve, she told us things that you just do not tell when you first meet people, it had nothing to do with the fact that she trusted us especially – the censorship of privacy simply did not exist for her. This threw us back on ourselves, on our own prejudices and categories that we tried to put them in to somehow make sense of them, because we could not find any right words to describe what took us so captivating We decided to do a movie.

In the beginning it was a struggle to put a finger on the wound. It was a paradox: Eva changes non-stop, defies definition. It blurs any boundary that would help identify it as something, as someone. So how could we make a movie about someone who escaped all our attempts to tell them? Eva was always one step ahead of us, always posting a new summary of the movie, even if we did not know where to go. In the process, I became more and more occupied with the fact that my image of me as a woman, as a human being – dominating even the last corner of my private life – is a construction of history, of society. I realized how much I had internalized the hostility against women, against sex workers, against queer, unadjusted ways of life … (the list goes on), how deeply she sat in my bones, in my language, and how she understood my worldview dominated. It was only after completing the montage that I understood that the film was about freeing myself from the gaze of others, their expectations of who we should be – especially as a woman. “

Original title: Searching Eva

Director: Pia Hellenthal

Book: Giorgia Malatrasi, Pia Hellenthal

Dramaturgy: Lisa Reisch

Protagonist: Eva Collé

Producers: Erik Winker, Martin Roelly

Creative Producer: Giorgia Malatrasi

Cinematography: Janis Mazuch

Sound: Marcus Zilz, Stephan Bergmann, Frank Bubenzer

Montage: Yana Höhnerbach

Sounddesign: Marcus Zilz

Mixing: Falk Möller

Production manager at Vice: Katja Siegel

Editorial staff ZDF (Das kleine Fernsehspiel): Lucas Schmidt, Christian Cloos, Max Schäffer

Production company: Corso Film- und Fernsehproduktion

Co-production companies: Vice Studios, ZDF (Das kleine Fernsehspiel)

Year of production: 2019

Genre: Documentary

Country: Germany

Languages: German, English, Italian

Subtitles: German, English


Length: 85 Min

Rating: FSK 16

Aspect ratio: 1.85 : 1

Sound: Surround Sound 5.1

Resolution: HD


Outview (Athens, Greece): Audience Award winners -> Searching Eva

16. CPH:DOX (Kopenhagen, Denmark): Special Mention -> Searching Eva


Festivals (selection): 

69. Berlinale (Berlin, Germany) 2019

DOK.fest (Munich, Germany) 2019

hotDOCS (Toronto, Canada) 2019

Sheffield Doc Fest (Sheffiled, UK) 2019

Jeonju (Seoul, South Korea) 2019

Premiere: Berlinale (Germany) 2019

Filmlabel: Darling Berlin

Verleih: UCM.ONE


Theatrical release Germany: November 14, 2019

DVD-Start: tba

VoD-Start: tba

Comment by the co-author Gioria Malatrasi:

“There was a time when I was caught in the endless loop of reading Eva’s blog while I talked to her about the movie in real life, and the idea that she was going to write about me eventually scared me the moment when I realized she had the power to create truths, the truth was what was on that side at the time.

Representation is a lie – that’s what gave me personally the key to imagining and fully accepting our film.”

Trailer (English)

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Press & Comments

“Searching Eva sheds new light on female self-portrayal on the Internet, gets her out of the narcissistic messy corner and puts her on the pedestal of contemporary feminism.” (Filmlöwin)

“This is not about many things – because Searching Eva can not and can not commit himself, in the spirit of his character, no documentary, no fictional film, no call for revolution, no celebration of substance-based serenity, no coming-of -Age, not a hipster anthem And yet: All this with great energy and at the same time.” (Kino-Zeit)

“Eva Collé is a writer, model, sex worker – and anti-heroine (…) who drives middle-aged white men to incandescence.” (Vice)

“A surprise delight” (The Guardian)

“Searching Eva is an elaborate look into the mind of a mid-twentysomething who wants to escape the drawer thinking.” (ZE.TT)


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