Producer Agrees To 30-Day Ban On Aretha Franklin Film

The producer of the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace” has agreed not to show the film for the next month as he and the Queen of Soul try to resolve their dispute over the work.

Earlier this month, a federal judge in Denver halted a screening of the film about a 1972 Franklin gospel concert in Los Angeles just hours before it was to be shown at the Telluride Film Festival. According to court documents, producer Alan Elliott then agreed to withdraw the film from the Toronto Film Festival but lawyers for Franklin claim he held a screening for the festival’s exhibitors and film distributors on Saturday.

Photo: Owen Sweeney / Invision / AP
Modell Performing Arts Center At The Lyric, Baltimore, Md.

The 72-year-old singer and Elliott agreed to the 30-day ban on screening of the film or the concert footage in documents filed Tuesday. They say they deal will allow them to begin negotiations and avoid another last-minute court fight.

Franklin has long objected to the film and she sued Elliott in 2011 to prevent a prior showing of the movie. During a Sept. 4 court hearing in Denver, she said she only had two days’ notice of the screening in Telluride although film festival lawyers say her agent had been told about it two or three weeks in advance.

Film festival lawyers claimed she gave away her rights to concert footage in a recently discovered 1968 recording contract but U.S. District Judge John L. Kane said the document appeared to only relate to her music recordings.