Aretha Franklin, ‘Amazing Grace’ Producer Seek More Time to Settle Lawsuit

Aretha Franklin sues Telluride
Erik Pendzich/Rex/REX

Attorneys for Aretha Franklin and producer Alan Elliott are asking a federal court for additional time to settle the dispute over footage from Elliott’s documentary “Amazing Grace.”

Since September, Elliott agreed to a court order in which he is prohibited from holding screenings of the film, which depicts a 1972 Franklin concert. Franklin had sued him in U.S. District Court in Denver for using the footage without authorization, and it was pulled from the Telluride Film Festival after a federal judge ruled in her favor.

But Franklin later contended that Elliott was not allowed to screen the movie to prospective buyers at the Toronto Film Festival.

The judge in the case, John Kane, already has granted two extensions of an order that enjoins screenings of the movie. In a motion filed on Friday, the parties are asking for another 45 days.

“Without going into detail as to the nature of negotiations, it is enough to say that there are multiple complex and moving parts to the negotiation and all interested parties are making diligent efforts to get to a resolution,” the attorneys said in a filing with the court. The latest extension would run through Jan. 25, although either party could still seek a hearing.

The documentary is based on footage of a Franklin concert shot by Sydney Pollack, as part of an uncompleted project. Franklin contends that a quitclaim agreement attached to the concert footage requires that she authorize its release.