Tribeca: Nas Documentary To Open 2014 Film Festival

Scott Gries/Invision/AP Images

"Time is Illmatic" will make its world premiere in lower Manhattan followed by a performance from the rapper.

The Tribeca Film Festival has once again turned to a music documentary for its opening night screening.

A year after kicking off the 2013 festival with a film about and performance by The National, Tribeca will open its 2014 edition with the world premiere of the Nas documentary Time is Illmatic, followed by a performance by the Queens rapper. Time is Illmatic is directed by multimedia artist One9, written by Erik Parker and produced by One9, Parker and Nas' manager Anthony Saleh.

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"I want to thank the Tribeca Film Festival for supporting the film with the incredible platform they've built over the years," Nas said in a statement. "It's an honor to premiere this film in my hometown. I also want to thank One9 and Erik Parker for their persistence and hard work. Those guys and I come from the same place and era, which gives the doc an authenticity that is important to me. We wanted this film to represent the real, from the storyline all the way down to the directors and producers."

Tribeca Film Festival CEO and co-founder Jane Rosenthal added: “Like the Festival itself, Time is Illmatic and the groundbreaking body of work it recognizes has roots grounded in New York City, but represents and reaches communities far beyond. The film spotlights a musical journey with community and family at its core and we look forward to celebrating this pivotal moment in hip hop history as we open our 13th edition.”

The film follows the trajectory of Nas' landmark 1994 debut album Illmatic, including the rappers' influences and odds he faced creating it. Following the premiere in lower Manhattan on April 16, Nas will perform the groundbreaking album in its entirety. The event occurs a day after Nas is set to release a special 20th anniversary edition of the album, Illmatic XX. Nas previously announced that he'll be touring the U.S. and performing the 1994 album in its entirety to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

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“Throughout the journey, we see the metamorphosis of Nas as a young street poet, full of a rich musical legacy, transforming the pain and isolation of growing up in Queensbridge Houses into raw, honest lyrics, illuminating a spirit that inspired generations from the past, present, and the future. Experiencing the stories, passion, and energy of a modern day alchemist shaping lyrical dust to diamonds was truly an honor and we are extremely proud to premiere the film at Tribeca,” said One9. “I want to thank Nas, Jungle, Olu Dara, The Jones family, the Tribeca Film Institute and Ford Foundation for allowing Erik Parker and me to create an authentic and unfiltered documentary film.”

Tribeca's full 2014 film slate will be announced the first week of March. The 13th edition of the festival runs from April 16-27.