Tribeca 2015: Fest will open this year with ‘SNL’ movie

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The Tribeca Film Festival is catching “Saturday Night Live” fever for this year’s opening night.

The New York film confab will kick off its 2015 gathering on April 15 with “Live From New York!,” nonfiction filmmaker Bao Nguyen’s look at the long-running comedy show.

The movie blends talking-head interviews with rare footage to recap the show and its cultural influence.


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“Archival footage is interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from ‘SNL’ legends, journalists, hosts, crew and others influenced by the comedy giant,” festival organizers said in a release.

“SNL” nostalgia is in the air. NBC this Sunday will air “The SNL 40th Anniversary Special.” A wide range of past regulars, hosts and guests have been invited to the telecast, and personalities such as Kristen Wiig, Dan Aykroyd, Betty White and Alec Baldwin have been confirmed to turn up for sketches and other comedy segments. Tribeca co-founder Robert De Niro, who has hosted three times, will also appear.

“I speak from a first-hand experience about ‘SNL’s’ rightful place in our culture as well as a welcome addition to our Festival,” he said in a statement about “Live From New York.” “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels added of the film that “after 40 years, the timing just felt right.”

Tribeca and “SNL” share a corporate connection. Fest co-founder Jane Rosenthal’s production company has long had a deal with Universal Pictures, while “SNL” is of course a linchpin of NBC Universal. Rosenthal noted that the film “is the story of a creative journey from pilot to institution and a tribute to the moments that kept us laughing and talking long after the episodes aired.”

There is precedent for Tribeca to feature “SNL” personalities in its opening night. In 2008, the festival opened with “Baby Mama,” a comedy from show alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.


Tribeca has been aiming for a greater consumer focus with its opening night since 50% of its parent company was acquired by Madison Square Garden last year. In 2014 it launched with the Nas documentary “Time Is Illmatic” at a public event at the Beacon Theatre, followed by a concert from the iconic ‘90’s rapper.

Twitter: @ZeitchikLAT