Aretha Franklin concert film pulled from Toronto festival

GMT 09:22 2015 Wednesday ,09 September

Arab Today, arab today Aretha Franklin concert film pulled from Toronto festival

Singer Aretha Franklin
Ottawa - AFP

Footage of Aretha Franklin's 1972 concert in a Los Angeles church will not be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival as planned, organizers said Tuesday after a US court blocked its release.

Festival organizers said the producers of "Amazing Grace," titled after Franklin's best-selling album, made the decision to withdraw the documentary due to an ongoing legal fight over the footage.

"We are extremely disappointed that Toronto audiences will not be able to see this extraordinary piece of art," the Toronto film festival 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."

The original footage was shot by late director Sydney Pollack, who died of cancer in 2008. It was later reclaimed and made into the current film by producer Alan Elliott.

But hours before his film's planned premier at the Telluride Film Festival Friday, Franklin's lawyers convinced a US federal judge to stop the showing.

Franklin and her lawyers have argued that Elliott did not have permission to use the footage for commercial use and that his film does not qualify as "fair use" under US copyright law.

A screening at the Chicago film festival next month has also been canceled.


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