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Long-shelved Aretha Franklin documentary finally debuting

By CNN

November 7, 2018 10:23:52

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After almost 50 years a documentary featuring performances by the late Aretha Franklin is set to debut.

“Amazing Grace” will premiere Monday at the DOC NYC festival in New York.

Franklin died in August after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

According to Variety, the singer’s estate and the film’s producer, Alan Elliott, reached an agreement to release the film, which has long been delayed.

“In recent weeks, Alan presented the film to the family at the African American Museum here, and we absolutely love it,” Franklin’s niece Sabrina Owens told Variety.

“We can see Alan’s passion for the movie, and we are just as passionate about it. It’s in a very pure environment, very moving and inspirational, and it’s an opportunity for those individuals who had not experienced her in a gospel context to see how diverse her music is. We are so excited to be a part of this.”

The documentary was mostly shot by famed director Sydney Pollack and captures Franklin’s gospel performances over a two-day period at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972.

The music was released as a double live album, but the film was held because Pollack failed to sync the sound, which made it difficult to edit.

Elliott acquired the rights to the film from Pollack in 2007, and Pollack died the following year.

In 2011 Franklin sued to stop the film’s release and argued she had only given permission to Pollack to release it.

Four years later she secured an injunction to stop it from being shown at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals.

Following the showing at DOC NYC, “Amazing Grace” will have weeklong Oscar-qualifying runs in Los Angeles and New York.

 

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