A Special Screening of Amazing Grace, the long-awaited documentary featuring Aretha Franklin’s renowned performances at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, has been added to AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi. Marking the film’s West Coast premiere, the Special Screening will take place Thursday, November 15, 8:00 p.m. at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.
The live performances, ranked among Ms. Franklin’s finest, were originally recorded and filmed during a church service in Watts on January 13 and 14, 1972. Warner Bros. Pictures captured the footage for a companion documentary to the double live album “Amazing Grace.” “Amazing Grace” would go on to be the biggest selling album of Aretha Franklin’s career, and the best-selling gospel album of all time. Mired in technical issues, the film was never released to the public.
Producer Alan Elliott acquired the film rights in 2007 and worked with a team of producers including Joe Boyd, Robert Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Sabrina Owens, Jerry Wexler, Tirrell D. Whittley and Joseph Woolf, to bring the feature-length documentary to light. The film was edited by Jeff Buchanan and its music was mixed by Jimmy Douglass. The documentary is a labor of love and a timely tribute to the music icon who passed away in August 2018. The film is now ready for release with the complete support and blessing from The Aretha Franklin Estate.
After decades of waiting, fans of the Queen of Soul can view her iconic performance at the AFI FEST 2018. The film features Ms. Franklin’s legendary gospel hits, performed in front of a distinguished audience that includes her father, the famed Reverend C.L. Franklin, Gospel legends Clara Ward and Mother Ward of the Ward Family Singers along with Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones (who were in Los Angeles recording “Exile on Main Street”).