Aretha Franklin Documentary ‘Amazing Grace’ to Screen at AFI Fest

Finally, the documentary about the Aretha Franklin’s legendary performance at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in 1972 will have its West Coast premiere on Thursday, THR is reporting.

The concert film titled Amazing Grace has been added to the schedule at AFI Fest, where it will have its West Coast premiere as a special screening on Thursday at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.

Recall that the documentary film which had been trailed by a tortuous long-running saga was mostly shot by Sydney Pollack. But Pollack’s footage was impossible to edit because the filmmaker failed to sync the sound. And after acquiring the film’s rights from Pollack in 2007, producer Alan Elliott brought in a team to construct the film, which Elliott calls “a labor of love.” However, the late singer had sued Elliott in 2011 for planning to release the film without her permission. And in 2015 when it was almost released, it was yanked at the last minute from the Telluride and Toronto film festivals after Franklin’s attorneys obtained an injunction against its release. They argued the film was “the functional equivalent of replaying an entire Aretha Franklin concert,” and couldn’t be screened without her consent.

The parties battled it out in courts in 2016; Pollack had passed away in 2008. And now, two months after Franklin died, her estate says “Amazing Grace” was an important part of Franklin’s legacy.

Now, it is set to be screened and fans can’t wait.

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