Tribeca Film Festival to Open with Nas Documentary ‘Time is Illmatic’

Continuing a tradition of highlighting music docs, the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival will open with the world premiere of “Time is Illmatic,” a new documentary about the hip-hop musician Nas and his 1994 debut album, “Illmatic,” widely considered a groundbreaker.

Since it launched in 2002, Tribeca has earned a rep as a prominent showcase for new documentaries. Music docs in particular have gotten good play in the fest, with recent editions kicking off with the preems of Elton John doc “The Union” (in 2011) and The National backstager “Mistaken for Strangers” (last year).

Directed by multimedia artist One9 and penned by Erik Parker, “Time is Illmatic” traces the creation of “Illmatic” as well as Nas’ upbringing in Queens with a family that included his jazz musician father, Olu Dara. Pic was funded and supported in part by the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access Program, one of the initiatives operated by the nonprofit loosely affiliated with the fest, as well as by the Ford Foundation. One9, Parker and Anthony Saleh produce.

“Time is Illmatic” will bow April 16 in an opening night screening that will be followed by a live performance by Nas of the entire “Illmatic” album. The title is first to be locked in for the 2014 edition of Tribeca, which this year runs through April 27.

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