After successfully canceling the premiere of “Amazing Grace” at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend, it seems Aretha Franklin and her team of lawyers have won again by blocking the documentary’s screenings at TIFF. The project from the late Sydney Pollack chronicles the making of Franklin’s seminal album of the same name.
According to the filed complaint before Telluride, “Allowing the film to be shown violates Ms. Franklin’s contractual rights, her intellectual property rights, her rights to use and control her name and likeness, and represents an invasion of her privacy.” The filing went on to state that “the raw footage has been locked away in the vaults of Warner Brothers studios for nearly forty years, there is no urgency in its immediate release.”
“We are extremely disappointed that Toronto audiences will not be able to see this extraordinary piece of art,” TIFF said in a statement. “The footage in the film is truly a cinematic treasure of twentieth century music and we hope global audiences will have opportunity to experience this film once a resolution is found.”
Two of the three Toronto screenings will be replaced by showings of the coming-of-age music film “Northern Soul,” while ticket holders for the third showing will be able to exchange their tickets for other screenings at the festival.