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Shiva Baby is Now Available to Rent on the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox

March 26, 2021

By John Corrado

One of the movies that I got to see at TIFF last year was Shiva Baby, a tightly wound and sharply written comedy set at a shiva that serves as a breakout film for both first time feature director Emma Seligman and star Rachel Sennott.

The film is now available to rent exclusively through the Toronto International Film Festival’s virtual cinema, the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox, as of today. It will be released across other Digital and On Demand platforms, as well as in select Canadian theatres, on April 2nd.

Sennott stars in the film as Danielle, a bisexual college student who gets dragged by her parents (Fred Melamed and Polly Draper) to the funeral service for an old family friend, only to be confronted with both her ex-girlfriend (Molly Gordon) and her married sugar daddy (Danny Deferrari).

Seligman, who is adapting her own short to feature length, really mines this situation for every ounce of uncomfortable comic potential, capitalizing on the claustrophobic feeling of having the film’s large cast of characters confined to a single house in Brooklyn. The result is a delightfully awkward cringe comedy that is impressively carried by Sennott, whose increasingly anxious performance as Danielle is quite compelling to watch. Plus, at a well-paced 77 minutes long, the film doesn’t overstay its welcome.

It’s also very fitting that Shiva Baby got to premiere at TIFF and is now being released through their online platform, because the Toronto-raised Seligman actually got her start as part of the programming team for TIFF Next Wave. For more on the film itself, you can read my full review of Shiva Baby from TIFF 2020 right here.

You can rent Shiva Baby on the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox here. It’s being distributed in Canada by Pacific Northwest Pictures.

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