A college student (Rachel Sennott) finds herself in a living nightmare when she discovers that her high school ex (Molly Gordon) and sugar daddy (Danny Deferrari) are at the same shiva she’s attending alongside her parents (Polly Draper and Fred Melamed) in Emma Seligman’s “Shiva Baby.” A red band trailer just dropped for the dark comedy.
“Just try to behave yourself today,” Danielle’s mother pleads in the spot. While she’s quick to offer condolences at the shiva, Danielle needs her mom to remind her who actually died. She’s distracted by all of the unexpected drama unfolding at the event, which her mom reminds her isn’t “a party.” Danielle’s mom implores her to avoid any “funny business” with her high school girlfriend, Maya, without realizing that Danielle’s sugar daddy — and his wife and baby — are also present.
“I made the short film this feature is based on when I was 21 and channeled a lot of my anxieties about my future and my feeling of powerlessness as a young woman into this story,” Seligman told us. “For my final project in film school, I was encouraged by my professor to write something that I knew and I felt that I knew shivas and sugar babies quite well. In college, sugar babies made up a huge part of my community, and growing up, I always found shivas to be the most humorous family events,” she explained. “Despite the fact that someone had just died, people still ate bagels, complained, showed off their children, and crossed boundaries. I always loved that contrast and thought a shiva would be a perfectly anxious and hilarious setting for an insecure young woman to lose her mind in.”
“Shiva Baby” hits select theaters and TVOD April 2.