Shiva Baby is a 2020 comedy film written and directed by Emma Seligman. An international co-production of the United States and Canada, the film stars Rachel Sennott as Danielle, a directionless young bisexual Jewish woman who attends a shiva with her family. Other attendees include her successful ex-girlfriend Maya (Molly Gordon), and her sugar daddy Max (Danny Deferrari) with his wife Kim (Dianna Agron) and their screaming baby. It also features Fred Melamed and Polly Draper as Danielle’s parents Joel and Debbie, with Jackie Hoffman and Deborah Offner in supporting roles.
Adapted from Seligman’s own 2018 short film of the same name, it premiered online at the 2020 South by Southwest film festival, while its first public screenings were at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was released in theaters and streaming on April 2, 2021. The events of the film take place almost entirely in real time and at one location as Danielle explores her romantic and career prospects under the intense watch of her family, friends, and judgmental neighbors.
The film received positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its representation of bisexual and Jewish people, being described as accessible for all audiences, and for effectively conveying anxiety-inducing claustrophobia. Seligman was praised for successfully drawing up tension within the film, especially considering it as her feature directorial debut, and won several awards for her screenplay. The cast and the musical score by Ariel Marx, likened to that of a horror film, were also praised.