Written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Emma Seligman, “Shiva Baby” follows a young bisexual Jewish woman at a shiva — a mourning tradition in the Jewish community — at which she must confront her over-achieving ex-girlfriend as well as her sugar daddy, his girlfriend and their baby.
Utopia Media boarded the film ahead of its Toronto premiere.
“Shiva Baby” — which began life as a short written and directed by Seligman while studying film at New York University — screened in the narrative feature competition at SXSW, and received its public premiere at last month’s TIFF. Variety critic Tomris Laffly said of the movie, “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 — and you’ll get some sense of its edge-of-your-seat character.”
The film stars Rachel Sennott (“Call Your Mother”), Molly Gordon (“Booksmart”), Dianna Agron (“Glee”), Polly Draper (“Billions”), Danny Deferrari (“Pan Am”) and Fred Melamed (“The Morning Show”).
Star Sennott also executive produced alongside Rhianon Jones, Victoria Ku, Martin Altmann, Fiona Altmann and Sue Collins. Seligman, Kieran Altmann, Katie Schiller and Lizzie Shapiro produced the film
The deal was struck between Mubi and David Betesh at Utopia.
“Shiva Baby” is the most recent festival buy for Mubi, which recently took worldwide VOD rights — excluding North America, Africa, China and Israel — for Sundance winner and BFI London Film Festival title “Farewell Amor,” which will bow in December.
Founded by Efe Çakarel, Mubi has expanded into production in recent years, and has several projects in development. Its slate includes “Our Men,” directed by Rachel Lang (“Baden Baden”), starring Louis Garrel (“Rifkin’s Festival”) and Camille Cottin (“Call My Agent”), and a true crime feature documentary directed by David Farrier (“Tickled”).
Mubi is also an executive producer on Nicolas Winding Refn’s upcoming series “Maniac Cop,” created in partnership with HBO and Canal Plus. Meanwhile, Mubi co-production “Port Authority,” directed by Danielle Lessovitz, played several festivals in 2019, including Cannes, Goteborg, Thessaloniki and Deauville.