Aretha Franklin|Blocks Documentary


DENVER (CN) – A federal judge acceded to Aretha Franklin’s request to stop the Telluride Film Festival from showing a documentary including film of her 1972 performance of “Amazing Grace” in a Los Angeles church.
     The album produced from the concert at the New Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles is the best-selling one of her 50-year career, Franklin says.
     What’s more, she sued producer Alan Elliott in 2011 in Los Angeles Federal Court to stop him from releasing the film, and “(t)he lawsuit was resolved after Elliot agreed to not release the film.”
     Nothing’s changed, Franklin said in her Sept. 4 lawsuit, and the judge agreed.
     U.S. District Judge John Kane granted the Queen of Soul an injunction Friday, hours before the movie was scheduled to be shown at Telluride.
     Franklin said the footage at issue “was taken with the express understanding that it would not be used commercially without agreement and consent by Ms. Franklin.”
     She said in the lawsuit that she “just learned” that the footage was included in the film produced by Elliott, also called “Amazing Grace.”
     The only defendant in the lawsuit is the National Film Preserve aka the Telluride Film Festival.
     Franklin claims that the footage violates her contractual rights, intellectual property rights, control of her name and likeness and her privacy. “It is also in direct and specific violation of the quitclaim agreement by which the footage was obtained from the Warner Brothers organization by Mr. Alan Elliott, the purported producer of ‘Amazing Grace.'”
     She claims that the quitclaim agreement of Dec. 11, 2007, between Warner Bros. and Elliott “gave explicit warning to Mr. Elliott that any commercial use of the footage would require the permission of Ms. Franklin.”
     The Chicago International Film Festival pulled the film from its lineup after Judge Kane issued the injunction. The movie is slated to be shown Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival, which could not be reached before business hours Tuesday.

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