After a five-year delay, M.I.A.’s official documentary finally has a premiere date—the 2018 Sundance Film Festival! “MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.” underwent major struggles, particularly between the film’s director Stephen Loveridge and her label Interscope, before finally settling for a release date.


Born in the United Kingdom of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, M.I.A. started her career in 2000 as a visual artist, filmmaker, and designer before doing music two years later. She currently has five studio albums in her catalog with her second LP “Kala” (yeah, it’s the one with Paper Planes) turning 10 this year. Her use of instruments borrowed from ethnic groups in Sri Lanka and Trinidad, and the political, social, philosophical, and cultural references in her lyrics make her a unique face in the music industry.

To Hell and Back Again

“MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.” revolves around her life, ranging from her music all the way to her very strong political beliefs. Loveridge dropped out of the project in 2013 stating that he “would rather die than work on this.” He leaked a five-minute trailer on his personal Tumblr page that showed some of Kanye West’s, Diplo’s, and Julian Assange’s parts in the documentary. Interscope sent a letter to Loveridge demanding him to take down the trailer, and that the label is doing their best to tie up loose ends. The letter didn’t convince Loveridge and it seemed like the documentary would be lost forever.

He eventually went back to work in November of 2013 and even claimed to release the film the following year, but that obviously didn’t happen. In March this year, M.I.A. spoke to FACT and claimed that she was in the dark about her documentary. She spoke to Loveridge a few months prior to the interview after years of radio silence, but she couldn’t confirm a release date… until now. As it turns out, M.I.A. and Loveridge never fell out—she’s apparently a very complicated person to work with, but they managed to stick together for the documentary.

Here’s another one we can add to our list of music documentaries to watch! The 2018 Sundance Film Festival will run from January 18-28 in Park City, Utah.

Featured image from Idolator