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Federal court sides with Aretha

Published 05/09/2015

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin was granted an emergency injunction which bars Amazing Grace, a documentary with footage of her, to be screened at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend.

The Telluride Film Festival was planning to show the documentary, which features footage captured by Sydney Pollack of a concert she put on in 1972.

But on Friday, the same day Amazing Grace was scheduled to play at the event, Aretha filed an emergency complaint at the U.S. District Court in Colorado against Telluride, asking for a preliminary injunction which would require the festival to remove the documentary from its screening list.

And according to Variety the Respect songstress was successful in her bid, as U.S. District Judge John Kane ruled in the legendary musician’s favour.

In addition to having Amazing Grace removed from the Telluride screening docket, Judge Kane’s order bars the film’s producers from showing it anywhere for the next 14 days, when another hearing on the matter is due to take place.

In her initial legal filing, Aretha’s lawyers expressed Amazing Grace was in violation of a contract she laid out with the movie’s producers.

Apparently the 73-year-old Think hitmaker asserted the Sydney Pollack concert footage “was taken with the express understanding that it would not be used commercially without agreement and consent by Ms. Franklin”.

“Allowing the film to be shown violates Ms. Franklin’s contractual rights, her intellectual property rights, her rights to use and control her name and likeness, and represents an invasion of her privacy,” the complaint reads. “It is also in direct and specific violation of the quitclaim agreement by which the footage was obtained from the Warner Brothers organisation by Mr. Alan Elliott, the purported producer of Amazing Grace.”

© Cover Media

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