Aretha Franklin Project Shot 46 Years Ago Will Premiere As A Documentary
An Aretha Franklin documentary which will be showcasing the diversity of her voice and music will be released in 2019. The project is a gospel concert film starring Franklin and was shot over 46 years ago, according to reports. The Franklin estate and producer Alan Elliott have agreed on naming the film “Amazing Grace,” and will be premiering at the DOC NYC festival next Monday. Sabrina Owens, the late star’s niece and executor of the Franklin estate spoke about the upcoming film,
In recent weeks, Alan presented the film to the family at the African American Museum here, and we absolutely love it. 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.
She also explains,
I think the movie stands by itself, so it would have a good run whether it’s next year or it was two or three years ago,” says Elliott. “But obviously, her singularity and her absence are really felt right now, so I think there is that energy toward rediscovering things that she did. And I feel that this performance is really her crowning achievement — and I think she felt that way too. As much as anything, I wish she had been here to be a part of it, especially since she said she loved the movie.
The film was originally scheduled to premiere at an assortment of festivals in 2015, but was halted by Franklin’s lawyers after being granted an injunction in Denver. The film was shot at Reverend James Cleveland’s South-Central L.A. church in January 1972, and the two-night gospel concert included an band of Atlantic Records musicians, and was boasted as one of her greatest performances.