Legendary: Gilda Radner Documentary To Open Tribeca Film Fest

Entertainment, Featured  

In celebration of original Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner, the film Love, Gilda will premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

The CNN Films documentary is the directing debut of Lisa D’Apolito. D’Apolito completed the project with support from Radner’s estate. The film incorporates the legendary comic’s words and voice from audiotapes and home movies, as well as diary entries. Friends and SNL alums contributed interviews.

Radner’s stint on SNL ran from 1975 to 1980, during which she crafted such memorable characters as Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner. She went on to TV, film and Broadway roles.

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Although Radner’s career was cut short when she died in 1989 at age 42 of ovarian cancer (the same illness befell many other creative, too-young women of that generation, like the brilliant comedic actor Madeline Kahn and songwriting titan Laura Nyro), she remains to this day an influential icon for female comedians. Her legacy lives on with Gilda’s Club, a cancer support organization founded in 1995 by her cancer psychotherapist Joanna Bull, Radner’s widower Gene Wilder, and film critic Joel Siegel. The nonprofit has since become part of the Cancer Support Community, however local branches still identify as Gilda’s Club.

Love, Gilda will screen during the Tribeca Film Festival’s opening gala on April 18 (the remainder of the festival, which takes place at the Beacon Theatre on New York’s Upper West Side, runs through April 29).

“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 co-founder and CEO of the Tribeca fest Jane Rosenthal. “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 second only to her dedicated leadership in cancer care with her eponymous Gilda’s Club.”

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