Director: Pacho Velez

Institute History

  • 2021 Sundance Film Festival


Is there anything worse than dating in New York City? Yes. It’s called dating in New York City during a pandemic—but at least in this film, you only have to watch others do it. Among those searching for their dream partner is Pacho Velez, the director of this charming and insightful documentary.

“What are you looking for?” Velez asks his subjects, a group of New Yorkers of all ages, races, genders, and sexual preferences. Their approaches to dating vary as much as their needs and expectations do. They talk about their experiences and fears, and we get to witness their swiping process in search of The One—or just The One For Now. Hope and excitement mix with the disillusion caused by living in this exhausting city that never sleeps (partially because everyone is busy ghosting one another).

Searchers is neither a thesis on online dating nor a grand statement on love and digital desire. Instead, Velez offers a bittersweet, utterly engaging take on the search for a human connection, which now feels more important than ever.

— A.T.

Screening Details


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