The Queen of Soul has struck again to stop the Amazing Grace documentary from being shown or sold. Just one day after a private screening for potential buyers at the Toronto International Film Festival, Aretha Franklin today filed an amended complaint in federal court in Colorado seeking an injunction against the Sydney Pollack-directed film of a 1972 performance by the singer. After Franklin and her lawyers surprisingly convinced a federal judge in Colorado to bar screenings of the film by producer Alan Elliott at the Telluride Film Festival, Amazing Grace was pulled from TIFF just hours before it was supposed to debut up north last week.
Now Franklin is making further legal moves in the Colorado court over viewings of the film, of which WME is the sales agent, that occurred privately in Toronto.
“On September 8, 2015, Mr. Elliott’s counsel agreed via e-mail that Mr. Elliott would not show the Film publicly,” said the amended complaint filed Sunday (read it here).
“Yet, on Saturday, September 12, 2015, Ms. Franklin’s counsel was informed via press inquiries that Mr. Elliott on that day was holding a screening of the film in Toronto for commercial purposes for film executives and others. The screening was allegedly attended by film industry executives for the particular purpose of obtaining a distribution agreement for the film. This screening was done without Ms. Franklin’s permission or knowledge, and was contrary to Mr. Elliott’s counsel’s specific representations.”
Grammy winner Franklin continues to seek a permanent injunction against showing of the film under copyright infringement, right of publicity, and anti-bootlegging claims among others.