BRITDOC backs feature that was on hold due to funding issues.
Production has begun in London on a feature documentary about the life of musician M.I.A.
The film is directed by Steve Loveridge, who reportedly stepped down from making the documentary in July.
At that time, Loveridge used his Tumblr account to leak a teaser trailer for the film, which was later removed.
According to an email posted to Loveridge’s site, a representative from Roc Nation claimed “the timing of this leak … screws with everything we’ve been working on”.
“I know how frustrated you must be with the [film],” they wrote, “but I promise we’ve been having ongoing conversations internally, trying to get legal stuff and funding resolved, it IS going to move forward and get done in time for this album cycle and festivals.”
“I really couldn’t give a flying fuck,” Loveridge replied. “Count me out. Would rather die than work on this.”
But the project is back on track with Loveridge at the helm after producers BRITDOC joined the project, co-producing with Yala Films. BRITDOC will arrange finance and distribution along with Wiggin EP, the packaging arm of media law firm Wiggin LLP.
The film will use hundreds of hours of exclusive, unseen footage shot by M.I.A. – real name Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam – and her closest friends.
Described as shot “from the inside looking out”, the film follows the musician on “her own journey of self-discovery, and all the contradictions her career throws up”.
Loveridge has been a collaborator of M.I.A’s since they met at St Martin’s Art College. This is his first feature.
The film is co-produced by BRITDOC directors Jess Search, Sandra Whipham, Maxyne Franklin and Beadie Finzi. Executive producer is Josephine Rose from Wiggin.
BRITDOC has funded and executive produced documentaries including Oscar-nominated Hell and Back Again and Toronto audience winner The Square, from Jehane Noujaim.
M.I.A., who came to London aged 11 after fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka, arrived on the music scene in 2003 and has released albums such as Kala, which featured hit single Paper Planes, included on the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack.
Her latest album, Matangi, was released yesterday by Interscope, also collaborators on the documentary.