“Amazing Grace,” the documentary that Aretha Franklin successfully blocked from screening at this year’s Telluride and Toronto film festivals, will not be shown to the public of film executives in the next 30 days.
The producer of the film, Alan Elliott, has agreed to a 30-day injunction that will prevent the documentary, which features footage from Franklin’s 1972 gospel concert, from being shown commercially.
“Amazing Grace” was scheduled to screen at both the Telluride and Toronto film fests until a lawsuit filed by Franklin to block its premiere.
A federal judge in Denver ruled on Sept. 4 that the concert footage of the singer shot by Sydney Pollack in 1972 couldn’t be shown without Franklin’s consent, forcing the filmmakers to cancel screenings at Telluride, Toronto and the upcoming Chicago Film Festival.
The soul diva filed an amended complaint in Colorado federal court on Sunday to broaden her legal efforts to block Elliot from screening his documentary “Amazing Grace,” after reports that he and WME had secretly shown the film to studio executives off-site at the Toronto Film Festival.
Franklin is seeking a declaratory judgment from U.S. District Court in Denver that would require Elliott to obtain her permission before any public screening or commercial use of the movie, and specifically cited efforts to find a distributor for the film.
In Sunday’s amended filing, Franklin’s attorney claimed that the “screening was done without Ms. Franklin’s permission or knowledge, and was contrary to Mr. Elliott’s counsel’s specific recommendations,” and cited a promise by Elliott’s attorney not to show the film publicly.
The complaint seeks jurisdiction in Colorado by noting that Elliott and WME agents traveled to Colorado for the planned screening at Telluride “attempting to generate interest in a distribution deal for the film.”