The 47th New Directors/New Films festival continues through April 8 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art. The opening night film this year was Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., first-time filmmaker Stephen Loveridge’s intimate portrait of rapper M.I.A.

Before she became a global sensation, known for her musical daring and tireless political activism for the Tamil people in her native Sri Lanka, M.I.A. was an aspiring filmmaker, having made countless video diaries chronicling her youth and private life. Loveridge, who attended art school in London with M.I.A. in the nineties, uses this first-hand material to craft a deeply personal statement from a pop star yearning to express herself.

Following the screening, Stephen Loveridge and M.I.A. joined programmer Florence Almozini for a Q&A to discuss the origins of the project, what M.I.A. would have added to the documentary, and her future goals.

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