Instagram launches the Holocaust diary series Eva.stories shot by Ukrainians in Lviv

Instagram-series was made by Ukrainian production Colorfirm. In the first days, more than 1 million people subscribed to the account @eva.stories.


Eva.stories is an Instagram series filmed in today’s popular stories format. The series shows the life of a 13-year-old Jewish girl Eva Heiman during the Holocaust. The story itself is based on a true story, and the source for information was the diary of a girl who, at the beginning of 1944, described the persecution of Jews in Hungary.

The media project was created in honor of the Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. The goal of the campaign is to attract the attention of young Israelis to the tragedy of the people. The promo of the series was accompanied by the signature: “What If a Girl In The Holocaust Had Instagram?”. Therefore, there were used gifs, signatures, filters, geolocation, and hashtags in the videos.

How the diary series work

The series consists of 70 episodes, they are consistently published on May 1 and 2. They are also available in saved account stories. All episodes are combined according to the days of recording in Eva’s real diary: from February 13 to May 30.

The plot of the series reflects the entries in Eva’s diary. In the first Stories, the girl talks about herself and her family. Then the Nazis come, they start persecuting the Jews, kill them or send them to the ghetto. As a result, the girl is taken to a concentration camp.

Shooting in Ukraine

The series was filmed by Ukrainian production Colorfilm. In total, 400 people participated in the shooting, 50 of them were Ukrainians. According to Colorfilm founder Yana Kartun, Lviv was chosen immediately as a location for filming Hungary in military times.

“The line producer of the project from the Israeli side often worked with us in Ukraine. As soon as he was offered this project, he thought of us as a company that would prepare and conduct the shooting, ” she says.

There was little time to prepare for the shooting – less than a month. At the first stage, Colorfilm, together with the Israeli POV studio and a team of directors, producers, and historical consultants, went to Lviv to look for locations. At the second stage, a film crew was formed in Kyiv, some of the actors were looking for, they selected scenery, props and stage costumes. The shooting itself lasted from March 17 to 26 in several locations: Eva’s apartment, pharmacy, school, ghetto, train station, park, and others.

“Locations were compared with photos of military times. I had to hide modern Ukrainian signs, air conditioners on the facades,” continues Kartun.

“I needed to make Lviv look like a Hungarian city occupied by the Germans,” adds project designer Volodymyr Cheremis. “At first we wanted to shoot individual episodes as Stories, but then we decided to make a full-fledged film.”

According to Volodymyr, the most difficult part of the shooting was to deliver the “Tiger” to Lviv from Vinnytsya – a real tank from the Second World War.

How much did it cost

The publication of the New York Times writes that the project budget was “less than $5 million.”