Comedian Tig Notaro‘s life was forever changed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was changed even more when she began a now-famous set with a casual greeting of “Good evening. Hello. I have cancer.”
Notaro’s battle with cancer, her rise to fame and struggling with wanting a child are themes explored in “Tig,” a documentary about Notaro’s life that kicked off Outfest 2015 Thursday at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
“It’s really remarkable to go from a time when you’re not even sure if you’re going to live, several times, and then to have a movie made about my life, and live to see it,” Notaro said. “It’s really something else.”
Garry Marshall was a special guest at Outfest and spoke before the screening. Marshall met Notaro while working on “The Sarah Silverman Program” and they’ve been friends since.
“She’s been through trouble and she’s still going and I’m a big fan of hers,” Marshall said. “She’s one of the best comedians I know and I’m here to support her.”
Also honored at opening night was “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” creator John Cameron Mitchell with the Outfest Achievement Award.
“It’s very moving because of the people who have won it previously are people that were my immediate predecessors in filmdom: Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon and Gus Van Sant ” said Mitchell. “It’s moving to me to be honored in the same breadth as my heroes.”
Outfest 2015 is an 11-day long festival featuring six world premieres and 3 U.S. premieres, among numerous other titles. Christopher Racster, interim executive director of Outfest, said this year’s festival is pushing for expansive representation.
“I think that people will see a much broader diversity of representations,” said Racster. “You are going to see a lot of trans narratives. We’ve really gone beyond the point where people are doing documentaries about the transition process and really exploring narratives where trans just happens to be part of the story.”
Ever the comedian, Notaro began her speech prior to the screening with a joke.
“Thank you. I’m going to keep this … long.”
Ashley York and Kristina Goolsby co-directed “Tig,” which was produced by Beachside Films and written by Jennifer Arnold. “Tig” premieres on Netflix July 17.