Shiva Baby has made the virtual film festival rounds since premiering at South by Southwest last year. The indie-comedy has also played at the Melbourne International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, where it’s been met with near-unanimous praise from critics. It’s easy to see why from the intriguing trailer above.
Directed by Emma Seligman, Shiva Baby stars Rachel Sennott as Danielle, a college student who “gets paid by her sugar daddy and rushes to meet her neurotic parents at a family shiva,” according to the official plot synopsis (for the gentiles in the crowd, a “shiva” is basically a week-long funeral). When Danielle arrives, she’s “accosted by various estranged relatives about her appearance and lack of post-grad plans, while her confident ex-girlfriend, Maya, is applauded by everyone for getting into law school.” As if the day wasn’t already stressful enough, her sugar daddy “arrives at the shiva with his accomplished wife, Kim, and crying baby. As the day unfolds, Danielle struggles to keep up different versions of herself, fend off pressures from her family, and confront her insecurities without completely losing it.” Seligman described her film as being about the “exhilaration, insecurities, confusion, and horror that accompany young female sexuality and the realization that your sexual power isn’t as far-reaching as you hope it to be.”
Also, Fred Melamed’s in it. It’s a must see. Great poster, too.
Shiva Baby in select theaters and VOD on April 2nd 🍼🥯 pic.twitter.com/8LFCFfGo91
— Rachel Sennott (@Rachel_Sennott) February 18, 2021
Shiva Baby, which also stars Molly Gordon and Dianna Agron, debuts on VOD on April 2.