"'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," Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal said in a press release. "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."
"Saturday Night Live" is in the midst of celebrating its 40th anniversary, and NBC will air a special on Feb. 15 to catalog the show's history. Dozens of major stars are expected to appear on Sunday, including Eddie Murphy, Jack Nicholson, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Tom Hanks and Bill Murray.
Said producer Lorne Michaels about the new doc: "After 40 years, the timing just felt right."
This isn't the first "SNL" documentary to appear at Tribeca. Back in 2010, James Franco debuted "Saturday Night," a documentary he directed about a single episode of the show. That film is now available on Hulu.
"The selection of 'Live from New York!' to open the 14th Tribeca Film Festival is personally gratifying to me on several level," Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro said in a statement. "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."
More on "Live From New York!" via the film's website:
Saturday Night Live has been reflecting and influencing the American Story for 40 years. Live From New York! explores the show’s early years, an experiment from a young Lorne Michaels and his cast of unknowns, and follows its evolution into a comedy institution. The film looks at SNL as a living time capsule, encompassing decades of American politics, media, tragedy, and popular culture with an irreverent edge.
Archival footage is interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from SNL legends, journalists, hosts, musical guests, crew and others influenced by the comedy giant.
Live From New York! captures what has enabled SNL to continually refresh itself over nearly 800 episodes and keep America laughing for 40 years.
The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 15 to April 26. More information on this year's fest is available at the Tribeca website.