February 12, 2015 / 10:34 PM / 3 years ago

'Saturday Night Live' documentary to kick off Tribeca Film Festival

NEW YORK (Reuters) - “Live From New York!,” a documentary about the NBC late night comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live,” will have its world premiere and open the 14th Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April, organizers said on Thursday.

The film follows the early development of the Emmy-award winning show that began as an experiment by its creator Lorne Michaels 40 years ago and has been a launching pad for the careers of comedians Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Chris Rock, Bill Murray, Adam Sandler and many others.

“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, a co-founder of the festival, said in a statement.

Director Bao Nguyen said he wanted the film to reflect the show’s significance to American comedy and society.

The Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded in 2001 by Rosenthal, actor Robert De Niro and investor Craig Hatkoff to revitalize the downtown New York neighborhood following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, runs from April 15 to 26.

“I can speak from first-hand experience about ‘SNL’s’ rightful place in our culture,” said De Niro, who has hosted the show three times.

Since the festival started it has screened more than 1,600 films and generated an estimated $900 million in economic activity for New York City, according to the organizers.

Feature films that will be screened at the festival will be announced in March.

Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Chris Reese

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