Gilda Radner Documentary Directed by First Time Director Lisa D’Apolito Will Open Tribeca

This year the Tribeca Film Festival will open its prestigious run with a comedy film documentary. Tribeca fest-goers will have the opportunity to see the World Premiere of “Love, Gilda” a documentary about Emmy and Grammy-winning and beloved comedian, Gilda Radner.

Directed by Lisa D’Apolito with the support of Gilda’s estate, the film is an intimate portrait of the beloved Saturday Night Live cast member told in her own words with readings from her personal diaries as well as candid interviews with Gilda’s friends and colleagues. The film is D’Apolito’s feature film debut. “Love, Gilda” will debut on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Beacon Theater in New York City.

The film weaves together audiotapes, rare home movies, diary entries, and interviews with her friends and those inspired by her including: Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Cecily Strong; SNL original cast members Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, and Paul Shaffer; as well as Lorne Michaels (SNL creator and producer), Alan Zweibel (SNL writer), Stephen Schwartz (Broadway composer); Andrew Alexander (CEO of Second City), and long-time friend and actor Martin Short.

Gilda Radner captivated millions of television viewers as an original cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1975-1980. The popularity of her now classic comedic characters Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella, and Lisa Loopner fueled the young talent to meteoric fame in television, movies, and on Broadway. After finding happiness in love with Gene Wilder she received the cruelest joke of all, cancer. Her fight against the disease served as an inspiration to people impacted by the illness to stay positive and to keep laughing no matter what challenges life brings you.

“LOVE, GILDA is the right film at the right time and the perfect way to open our Festival,” said Paula Weinstein, EVP of Tribeca Enterprises. “Gilda is a woman for the ages, an extraordinary talent in film, television, and theater who overcame her personal struggles to make us laugh, to make us cry. She understood the healing power of laughter not simply for her audience but in her own life as she struggled with cancer and lead the way for all of us to make the world a better place.”

First time feature filmmaker Lisa D’Apolito commented, “I fell in love with Gilda Radner while doing pro bono work at Gilda’s Club, the cancer support organization Gene Wilder founded in honor of Gilda, in Greenwich Village where I grew up.

This fest marks the first time Tribeca’s Opening Night will feature a film from a first-time female director, D’Apolito fell in love with Gilda while doing pro bono work at Gilda’s Club, the cancer support organization founded by Radner’s husband Gene Wilder in honor of Gilda. “This started my journey to discover who Gilda was as a person and as a performer,” D’Apolito said. “Gilda inspired me and many other women with her remarkable spirit and unique talent that changed the world of comedy. I’m grateful and honored to share the extraordinary legacy of Gilda Radner at the Tribeca Film Festival.” It’s also the second time Gilda’s image will grace Tribeca’s opening night- in 2015 “Live From New York

The film is produced by Bronwyn Berry, Meryl Goldsmith, and James Tumminia, with Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn (Motto Pictures), Alan and Robin Zweibel, Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton (CNN Films) serving as executive producers.

“As a Festival that has always supported women’s voices and is largely run by women we are incredibly proud to celebrate the inimitable voice of Gilda during the opening night of our Festival,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of the Tribeca Film Festival. “Gilda Radner was a powerful comedic force of nature who opened doors and thrilled audiences while becoming one of the most prolific comedians of a generation. Her cutting edge humor was only second to her dedicated leadership in cancer care with her eponymous Gilda’s Club.”

Tickets for Opening Night go on sale on March 20 at The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival runs April 18-29. The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival will announce its feature film slate on March 7.

The Tribeca Film Festival is the leading cultural event that brings visionaries and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. The Festival champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances. The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Now in its 17th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities.

The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival will take place April 18-29 in New York City.

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