Documentary News Roundup: ‘Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.’ and ‘Apollo 11’

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We received word about updates on two upcoming documentaries looking to break into the Oscar race in 2018-2019. This year has already been a great year for the genre, with many contenders across the board. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” “RBG” and “Three Identical Strangers” have all drawn rave reviews. On the festival circuit, other features like “TransMilitary” and “Dark Money” have drawn support.  Now we have two more added to the fray, with “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” and “Apollo 11” both showcasing interesting topics.

The first one up is “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A” which follows the story of pop artist and rapper M.I.A. growing up in Sri Lanka. The film, directed by Steve Loveridge, won a Special Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. We received a trailer for the film, as well as a poster. “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” is distributed by Cinereach and Abramorama. The IMDB synopsis is as follows:

Drawn from a never-before-seen cache of personal footage spanning decades, this is an intimate portrait of the Sri Lankan artist and musician who continues to shatter conventions.

Second, NEON has picked up the theatrical distribution rights to “Apollo 11,” a CNN documentary showcasing never-before-seen footage of the space mission to the moon. With the 49th anniversary of the mission today, NEON released the first teaser trailer for the documentary. If the footage is promising, this could be another documentary to pick up steam. Todd Douglas Miller directs the film, making it his follow-up to “Dinosaur 13.”

The release of this feature could also help or harm “First Man,” which is slated to release on October 12th, 2018. Regardless, other documentaries like “From the Earth to the Moon” and “Last Man on the Moon” have been successful in years past. “Apollo 11” could add to that legacy.

What do you think of the two documentaries? Which one do you think stands a better chance to find its way into an Oscar lineup? Which one are you more excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

“Matangi/Maya/M.I.A” opens in the US on September 28, 2018.

Neon has yet to set a release date for “Apollo 11.”