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September 14, 2020 3:28 pm

‘Shiva Baby’ Sells Worldwide Rights Ahead of Toronto Film Festival Premiere

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A promotional photo for “Shiva Baby.” Photo: Courtesy of TIFF.

The feature film “Shiva Baby” has sold worldwide rights to Utopia Media ahead of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this month, Variety reported last week.

Emma Seligman’s debut movie is about a young bisexual Jewish woman named Danielle who attends a shiva with her parents, where her older male lover and embittered female high school sweetheart are also present.

She also encounters “other people who make things increasingly more awkward for Danielle” and “much to her chagrin, she finds out that many of them have secrets of their own,” according to the film’s description on the TIFF website.

Seligman said in a statement: “This film was made to represent the various contradictions and pressures placed upon young women, especially young queer women, from traditional families and communities and the anxiety and insecurities they feel as a result. ‘Shiva Baby’ is a comedy about a young woman grappling with her self worth, sexuality and independence and I could not be more thrilled to be working with such a collaborative and filmmaker focused distributor like Utopia.”

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The movie, written and directed by Seligman, stars Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon, Dianna Agron and Polly Draper.

“‘Shiva Baby’ is a female-directed, female-driven comedy that deftly navigates what it means to reckon with one’s sexuality within the Jewish community,” said Utopia’s head of content Danielle DiGiacomo. “Emma Seligman has created a sharp-witted, dark comedy and Utopia is grateful for the opportunity to share female-driven film projects and stories about queer, millennial women to global audiences.”

The Toronto Film Festival, which is scheduled to take place from Sept. 10-20, will have a combination of virtual and in-person film screenings and other events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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