Aretha Franklin’s Shelved Documentary To Be Released After 46 Years


In 1972, Aretha Franklin’s performances at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles were recorded and made into a film titled Amazing Grace. However, it was never released by Warner Bros. due to technical issues. Forty-six years later, the gospel concert movie will finally see the light of day.

On Monday (Nov. 5), Variety reported that the estate of late singer Aretha Franklin and producer Alan Elliott came to a compromise to release the film. The movie will make its premiere on Monday (Nov. 12) at the DOC NYC festival.

Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and executor of her estate, spoke to Variety on her enthusiasm for the upcoming documentary. “In recent weeks, Alan presented the film to the family at the African American Museum here, and we absolutely love it,” she said. “We can see Alan’s passion for the movie, and we are just as passionate about it. It’s in a very pure environment, very moving and inspirational, and it’s an opportunity for those individuals who had not experienced her in a gospel context to see how diverse her music is. We are so excited to be a part of this.”

Amazing Grace has yet to see a distribution deal for a 2019 release to the general public, but Variety states that the reel was initially set to premiere at film festivals in Colorado and Canada in 2015. However, attorneys of the late Detroit diva put a stop to it via an injunction until Elliott and Franklin’s camp made an agreeable negotiation.

You can find tickets for the film’s debut here, and its trailer below.

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