'Amazing Grace' Pulled From Chicago Film Festival Amid Aretha Franklin Legal Battle

Amazing Grace Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Amazing Grace Movie LLC

Amazing Grace Still - H 2015

Franklin was granted an emergency injunction Friday, which halted the premiere of the film at the Telluride Film Festival.

Following the emergency injunction granted to Aretha Franklin to stop the Telluride Film Festival from premiering Amazing Grace Friday evening, the Chicago International Film Festival is pulling the film from its lineup.

In a statement on Saturday, festival founder and artistic director Michael Kutza said, "Sydney Pollack was a longtime personal friend and supporter of our Festival and I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to screen his previously undiscovered work at our festival this year when it was offered to us in August."

He continued, "It is a truly captivating film experience and a testament to the undeniable talents of Aretha Franklin. Out of respect for the legal process ahead and Ms. Franklin’s wishes, we have decided to pull the film from our lineup until such time as the issue is able to be resolved amicably."

Franklin successfully filed papers late Thursday in an attempt to block the screening of the documentary film that uses footage from her 1972 concert that was shot by Pollack. She is arguing that Amazing Grace improperly used her likeness and name. On Saturday, Franklin said in a statement: "Justice, respect and what is right prevailed and one's right to own their own self-image."

In 1986, the Chicago Film Festival honored Pollack at a gala affair hosted by film critic, Roger Ebert and in 2012, Kutza received the Sydney Pollack Award from the American Cinematheque.

The 51st Chicago International Film Festival runs Oct. 15-29.

Sept. 6 at 12 p.m. Kutza's statement has been updated.