Magazine article Screen International

Toronto Doc Chief Shocked over 'Amazing Grace' Court Ruling

Magazine article Screen International

Toronto Doc Chief Shocked over 'Amazing Grace' Court Ruling

Article excerpt

Thom Powers worked behind the scenes for four years to bring Amazing Grace to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) after it looked like the producers were resolving the inevitable technical and rights issues that have kept the late Sydney Pollack's film out of public view for more than four decades.

However what Powers had not anticipated was last Friday's decision by Colorado judge John Kane to grant Franklin an injunction after the soul diva filed papers to say she never granted permission for commercial use of footage from the 1972 Los Angeles church concert.

That ruling blocked the film's world premiere in Telluride and while there is no such ruling in Canada, producer Alan Elliot felt it prudent to pull the film.

"As a lay person I was leftwondering what the judge was smoking," said Powers. "But in Colorado I guess that could be anything."

Powers said it was his understanding Franklin had previously professed her love for the film. He could not recall a similar case in his ten years at TIFF where a film had been pulled by producers after being accepted into the festival.

"It's a very worrying precedent," he said. …

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