Photograph by Mary Ellen Matthews, courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival
NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The world premiere of the Saturday Night Live documentary Live From New York! will open the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival April 15, organizers announced Thursday.
The movie explores the sketch comedy show's early years, "an experiment that began with a young Lorne Michaels and his cast of unknowns, and follows its evolution into a comedy institution," a synopsis said.
"Archival footage is interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from SNL legends, journalists, hosts, crew and others influenced by the comedy giant."
Live From New York! is directed by Bao Nguyen, and produced by J.L. Pomeroy and Tom Broecker.
"SNL's contribution to the arts and to pop-culture has been -- and continues to be -- groundbreaking, and Live From New York! offers an inside look at the show's inimitable ability to both reflect and impact American news, history and culture," Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, said in a statement. "This 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. We are excited to welcome Bao Nguyen back to Tribeca to open our 14th festival with the world premiere of Live From New York!"
"After 40 years, the timing just felt right," said SNL co-creator Lorne Michaels.
"The selection of Live from New York! to open the 14th Tribeca Film Festival is personally gratifying to me on several levels. Having hosted SNL three times, and guested on several occasions, I speak from a first-hand experience about SNL's rightful place in our culture as well as a welcome addition to our festival," added Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival.
"Saturday Night Live is such a revered institution and we really wanted to make a film that reflected its significance not just to the American comedic tradition, but also to American culture and society," said director Bao Nguyen. "I want to thank Lorne Michaels for allowing us to film in the storied halls of Studio 8H. I'd also like to thank J.L. Pomeroy and Tom Broecker for trusting me with their creative vision. Finally, I can't thank Tribeca enough for all their support. We couldn't dream of a better place to world premiere Live From New York! than at New York City's own Tribeca Film Festival."
The Tribeca Film Festival is scheduled to run April 15-26.
NBC is to air a live television special celebrating SNL's 40th anniversary on Feb. 15.