Screened as part of NZIFF 2018

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. 2018

Directed by Steve Loveridge Music & Dance

From refugee daughter of a Tamil revolutionary and aspiring filmmaker to pop stardom and controversy magnet: this stimulating documentary about Sri Lankan musician M.I.A. dances to its own idiosyncratic beat.

USA In English and Tamil with English subtitles
101 minutes DCP




Steve Loveridge, Lori Cheatle, Andrew Goldman, Paul Mezey


Graham Boonzaaier, Catherine Goldschmidt, Matt Wainwright


Marina Katz, Gabriel Rhodes


Dhani Harrison, Paul Hicks


Sundance, Berlin, New Directors/New Films 2018


Special Jury Award, Sundance Film Festival 2018


Mai FM

An unconventional biography of a defiantly unconventional pop star, this documentary delivers a rousing and multifaceted portrait of Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. Better known to friends and family as Maya, M.I.A.’s exceptional path from stardom – propelled by her Slumdog Millionaire megahit ‘Paper Planes’ – to media pariah is charted by first-time documentarian Steve Loveridge, who attended art school with her in the 1990s. — MM

“Loveridge’s movie is a fantastic and kinetic fulfillment of Maya Arulpragasam’s desire to be heard as more than an entertainer. Starting with her 2004 debut, M.I.A. beat an aesthetically game-changing and controversy-strewn path across pop culture, broadcasting her backstory as a Tamil revolutionary’s refugee daughter who was trained in a London art school and steeped in US hip-hop. Her early aspiration of becoming a documentary filmmaker means Loveridge has a trove of electrifying pre- and post-fame footage to work with, which he uses for a smart, lively investigation of M.I.A.’s own vital themes: the lives of immigrants worldwide, the plight of the Sri Lankan people, and the question of whether pop stars can make effective political activists.” — Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic