Documentary on Hip-Hop Luminary, Nas, World Premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

New York, NY [May 13, 2014] –Tribeca Film announced today that the company is acquiring North American rights to Time Is Illmatic, which had its world premiere as the opening night of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary is directed by multimedia artist, One9, written by Erik Parker, and produced by One9, Parker, and Anthony Saleh. It follows the trajectory of Nas’ 1994 landmark debut album, Illmatic -- widely considered one of the most important and revolutionary albums in hip-hop. Tribeca Film is planning a simultaneous theatrical and VOD release in October along with performances by Nas in select cities. Additionally, educational youth screening series will complement the release.

Time Is Illmatic traces Nas’ influences and the insurmountable odds he faced in creating the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era. The film tracks the musical legacy of the Jones family -- handed down to Nas from his jazz musician father, Olu Dara, the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, and the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Jones. Twenty years after its release, Illmatic is widely recognized as a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the sociopolitical outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young men searching for their voice in America. Time Is Illmatic was supported by The Ford Foundation’s Just Films and Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access program.

Hip-hop luminary and multi-platinum artist, Nas, released his debut album Illmatic in 1994, and he has gone on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide. The legendary Queens rapper is widely recognized as a visionary and lauded for a seminal body of work that spans a two-decade career.

"I want to thank Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal & the Tribeca Film family for all of the love & support they've given Time Is Illmatic,” said Nas . “It is an honor to be in partnership with them. I feel there is a cultural kinship bonded by the city of New York."

“We began this journey with filmmakers One9 and Erik Parker when they conceived of the idea for the film in 2010 and supported them with funding through the Tribeca Film Institute to complete their vision,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises. “We were privileged to open the 2014 Festival with the world premiere of this powerful story of an artist's journey through the toughest of conditions and times. The film is unique. Nas is the truest of artists, reflecting his community. Tribeca was founded on community and filmmaking and we could not be more proud of our continuing association with a work as honest and inspirational as Time is Illmatic.”

"With Time is Illmatic, Erik and I wanted to celebrate Nas’ groundbreaking album, Illmatic, and shed light on the socio-economic conditions that created it. Most importantly, we wanted to show how one piece of art gave hope to those searching for their voice in America,” said One9. “We are confident that our partnership with Tribeca will give the proper platform for this important American experience.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Nick Savva, Vice President of Acquisitions for Tribeca Film and David Koh, Dan Braun, Josh Braun for Submarine Entertainment with Liesl Copland for WME on behalf of the filmmakers.

Editor’s note: A film still can be accessed at the following link:

About Tribeca Film
Tribeca Film is a comprehensive distribution label dedicated to acquiring and releasing independent films across multiple platforms, including theatrical, video-on-demand, digital, home video and television. It is an initiative from Tribeca Enterprises designed to provide new platforms for how film can be experienced, while supporting filmmakers and introducing audiences to films they might not otherwise see. Current and upcoming Tribeca Film releases include Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto and David MacKenzie’s Starred Up starring Jack O’Connell.


Tribeca Film:
Tammie Rosen – Tribeca Enterprises, 212.941.2003,
Brandon Rohwer – Tribeca Film, 212.941.2038,
Tahra Grant – Rubenstein Communications, 212.843.9213,