Duck Butter

Duck Butter is a 2018 American experimental comedy film directed by Miguel Arteta, from a screenplay by Arteta and Alia Shawkat. It stars Shawkat, Laia Costa, Mae Whitman, Hong Chau and Kate Berlant.

Duck Butter
John Wesley
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMiguel Arteta
Produced by
Written by
Music byKaitlyn Aurelia Smith
CinematographyHilary Spera
Edited byChris Donlon
Distributed byThe Orchard
Release date
  • April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20) (Tribeca)
  • April 27, 2018 (2018-04-27) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$6,877[2]

It had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2018. It was released on April 27, 2018, by The Orchard.


Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa) meet at a club and get to know each other by having sex every hour on the hour for 24 hours.



The initial draft of the film, written by Alia Shawkat and Miguel Arteta, initially focused on a couple over the course of a year-and-a-half, between a man and a woman, deciding to have sex every hour on the hour to find intimacy. Shawkat, who was cast in the lead role, met with actors, who were uncomfortable with the idea.[3] The two initially cast Laia Costa, who only agreed to portray a supporting role in the film if she could remain on set during the entire 24-hour shoot. Arteta and Shawkat decided to re-write the role for a woman.[4]

In September 2016, it was announced Shawkat and Costa had been cast in the film, with Arteta directing from a screenplay by him and Shawkat. Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass will serve as producers under their Duplass Brothers Productions banner.[5][6][7][8][9]

Principal photography began in September 2016, over the course of nine days, with majority of the film being shot over the course of 24 hours.[10][11]


The Orchard and Netflix will distribute the film.[12] It had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2018.[13] It was released on April 27, 2018.[14]

Critical receptionEdit

Duck Butter received mixed reviews from film critics. It holds a 52% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 27 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Duck Butter has a pair of compelling leads and a refreshing female-driven perspective, but its story is ultimately too thin to support a feature-length production."[15] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 60 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

Katie Rife of The A.V. Club gave the film a C+, panning it for not giving Costa's character depth and calling the film "clever without being all that hilarious, and personal without being all that revealing".[17]


Year Festival Category Nominee Result
2018 Tribeca Film Festival Best Narrative Feature Miguel Arteta Nominated


  1. ^ "Duck Butter". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Duck Butter". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Dry, Jude (April 27, 2018). "Alia Shawkat Made 'Duck Butter' Queer After Male Actors 'Seemed Uncomfortable' With Intimate Sex Scenes". Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Song, Sandra (April 27, 2018). "Alia Shawkat Explains The Kind Of Gross Meaning Of "Duck Butter"". Nylon Magazine. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Out & About Events for Women (September 24, 2016). "Below is a casting notice for middle-aged and older lesbians. If you know anyone who fits the bill, please pass the information along". Facebook. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  6. ^ "Speakers". NALIP Media Summit 2018. National Association of Latino Independent Producers. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  7. ^ "Get Cast in Duplass Brothers' New Indie Movie with Alia Shawkat". September 26, 2016. Retrieved May 31, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Demaria, Meghan (May 19, 2017). "Alia Shawkat Came Out As Bisexual". Refinery29. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  9. ^ Friedman, Ann (May 13, 2017). "'I'm not a quirky 17-year-old any more': what Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat did next". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  10. ^ Oslend, R. Kurt (May 11, 2017). "Actress Alia Shawkat on Bold Projects, Broad City & Being Queer in America". Out. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  11. ^ Sextro, Chalie (September 15, 2017). "Miguel Arteta on learning how to run a movie set". The Creative Independent. Kickstarter. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 21, 2018). "Netflix Lands Worldwide Rights to Next Four Duplass Brothers Films (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  13. ^ Raup, Jordan (March 7, 2018). "Tribeca 2018 Lineup Includes 'Disobedience,' 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post,' 'The Seagull,' and More". The Film Stage. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  14. ^ Nolfi, Joey (March 21, 2018). "Alia Shawkat, Laia Costa explore 'messy' love and sex in Duck Butter trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Duck Butter (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Duck Butter Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Rife, Katie (April 25, 2018). "Alia Shawkat Tries to Fast-Forward Through Courtship in the Hipster Sex Comedy Duck Butter". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved May 7, 2018.

External linksEdit