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Tribeca Film Festival open with documentary about legendary record exec Clive Davis

Getty/Theo Wargo(LOS ANGELES) -- The Tribeca Film Festival opened in New York City Wednesday night with the premiere of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a documentary about the legendary music industry executive influential in the careers of everyone from Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston to Alicia Keys and Barry Manilow.

An all-star concert featuring Franklin, Manilow, Jennifer Hudson, Carly Simon and Dionne Warwick was set to follow the screening, and Tribeca co-founder Robert DeNiro said that explains why the movie was chosen to kick off the festival.

"We felt that ..his film would be the best for opening the festival tonight and he has so much respect in the music world and you can see by who’s gonna perform after," he said before the screening at Radio City Music Hall.

While often you hear musicians complaining about record industry executives, singer Judy Collins, a long-time friend of the 85-year-old Davis, said he's a different kind of record company guy.

"He’s sort of our mentor and the person that we look to, not only musically, but Clive also, I think, has a very big heart when it comes to social activities and social principles and he always supports the best – not only in his artists, but also in the culture," she said.

Still, it's Davis' career in music that made him the subject of a documentary important enough to kick off a major film festival.  Why?  Saxophonist Kenny G explains, "He’s the guy that brings the quality into the music industry. He just does. He finds it, he hears it, he puts the dots together, he figures out who’s the right producer, who’s the right artist, who’s the right songwriter, how are you gonna promote it, where’s it gonna go. And he just figures it all this stuff out and it just happens."

The Tribeca Film Festival runs through Sunday.

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