Filmed by Sydney Pollack in 1972 at the then-29-year-old Franklin’s concert in the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, the film was mired in legal technicalities for decades before getting screenings last year at DOC NYC and AFI Fest for Oscar-qualifying runs. Neon has now set the April 5 theatrical release in select theaters prior to expansion.
Neon acquired the North American rights in December. The film was produced by Alan Elliott, Joe Boyd, Chiemi Karasawa, Rob Johnson, Sabrina Owens, Tirrell D. Whittley, Jerry Wexler and Joseph Woolf.
In a December, Spike Lee hosted a private screening of the film in Los Angeles, calling Amazing Grace “One of the greatest concerts ever put to film. As we know, Aretha is one of the world’s treasures – not just the United States of America, but the world’s treasures.”
Franklin died last August 16 at age 76. Check out her performance of “Amazing Grace” in the trailer above.