Shiva Baby directed by Emma Seligman
Shiva Baby directed by Emma Seligman

Utopia released the first trailer for Shiva Baby, the indie comedy starring Rachel Sennott as Danielle, a young bisexual Jewish woman who attends a shiva with her family and runs into her ex-girlfriend and her sugar daddy.

The film, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Emma Seligman, also stars Polly Draper, Danny Deferrari, Fred Melamed, and Dianna Agron; and premiered at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival.

Utopia will release Shiva Baby in theaters and on VOD on April 2, 2021.

A young Jewish woman’s steamy secrets are unearthed during one emotionally frantic shiva, in Emma Seligman’s comedy of discomfort.

Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby focuses on twentysomething Danielle (Rachel Sennott), a perennial student who’s been lying to her supportive but overbearing parents about her faltering academic career. Then again, she has a lot of secrets she’s keeping, including her relationship with an older man, Max (Danny Deferrari), who also gives her money. Hauled off to a shiva by her parents, she’s mortified to encounter her embittered ex Maya (Molly Gordon from Booksmart), followed by other people who make things increasingly more awkward for Danielle. Much to her chagrin, she finds out that many of them have secrets of their own. (Like many people who aren’t especially truthful, she’s deeply offended when she discovers someone’s been lying to her.)

Shiva Baby is a caustically affectionate comedy about tightly knit families and communities, and the comfort and anguish they’re often responsible for. Seligman expertly structures the film, as Danielle lurches from one potentially catastrophic encounter to another — each one threatening to expose her multiple fabrications — while navigating spilled drinks, wailing babies, and an endless string of friends and relations anxious to give Danielle advice. Seligman’s stellar ensemble cast, led by Sennott and including Polly Draper and Fred Melamed, is spot-on. via TIFF

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