Screened as part of NZIFF 2021

Shiva Baby 2020

Directed by Emma Seligman Widescreen

Dizzying and captivating, Emma Seligman’s feature-length debut stars Rachel Sennott as a young woman who cannot escape her sugar daddy, her ex-girlfriend or her own lies at a family wake.

Nov 06
Sold Out

Light House Petone

Nov 11

Embassy Theatre

Nov 12
Sold Out

Reading Cinemas Porirua

Nov 19
Sold Out

The Roxy Cinema

Nov 22

Embassy Theatre

USA In English
78 minutes DCP

Director, Screenplay


Rachel Sennott
Danny Deferrari
Fred Melamed
Polly Draper
Molly Gordon
Glynis Bell


Kieran Altmann
Katie Schiller
Lizzie Shapiro


Maria Rusche


Hanna Park


Ariel Marx


SXSW, Toronto 2020


Shiva Baby is a relentless comedy of errors that opens with the sort of discordant string music one would ordinarily expect from a horror film – and it soon becomes abundantly clear why. Danielle (Rachel Sennott) is in a personal and professional rut, made worse by the attendees of a family shiva who relitigate her relationship status, her diminishing weight and her limited career prospects with almost religious fervour. As if a victim of karmic retribution, Danielle is ambushed when her over-achieving ex-girlfriend and secret sugar daddy enter the fray, resulting in a perfect storm of hilarity and cloying, claustrophobic humiliation.

Adapted from her 2018 short film of the same name, Seligman savours each uncomfortable moment in Shiva Baby, documenting the carnage that erupts as Danielle’s vastly different personas collide. Refusing to let the audience observe the embarrassment at arm’s length, Seligman’s direction insists her viewers get up close and personal, tightly focusing our attention on Danielle as things begin to unravel. At times, it feels like a battle of wills as we wait to see whose resolve will crack first – Danielle’s or our own – but moments of humour and humanity are a perfect balm for the string of misadventures you’ll be grateful to experience secondhand. With a wonderful performance from Rachel Sennott at its heart, Shiva Baby will immediately draw you in and hold fast. — Samantha Gianotti

“Think of this late-coming-of-age farce as a funny ‘Krisha’ or the indoor apocalypse that takes place in “Mother!” – but with broken glass objects, a deafeningly screaming baby, a relentlessly suspicious wife and prying relatives instead of blood and guts.” — Tomris Laffly, Variety

Screening With This Feature

The Girls 2021



Courtney Rose Brown


Bethany Miller


Marshayla Christie, Shania Bailey-Edmonds, Raquel Roderick
9 minutes

Awkward and flirty Jewelisa has love on the brain and nothing to lose... Only, she is about to lose her biggest secret as her sister stumbles across her hidden romance. Jewelisa tries to sneak out. Her clean exit is thwarted, when she is caught by her God fearing mother, who shows no restraint in questioning Jewelisa’s birth control choices and commitment to faith. Despite her sister’s loaded hints, hilarious miscommunication continues to ensue, until their family dynamic is shaken in a delightfully unpredictable way.