Producer of Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace' Doc Claims She Was Never Paid
Karasawa alleges to have managed nearly every aspect of the film’s restoration, editing, and screening.
Yesterday, the once-shelved, now critically-lauded, Amazing Grace documentary officially opened in New York and Los Angeles.
And while the intimate capture of Aretha Franklin‘s legendary 1972 performance at LA’s New Temple Missionary Baptist Church has finally been liberated, one of the film’s producers is claiming they were never paid for their part in the film’s revival. Speaking with Variety, producer Chiemi Karasawa alleged: “I have not been paid a dime of my Producer Fee or the amounts that I am entitled to contractually.”
Karasawa has filed an arbitration case against the film’s co-director, Alan Elliott, who has largely operated as the non-Aretha face of Amazing Grace. The producer claims to have been introduced to Elliott in 2010, agreeing to join the film’s production the following year. From there, she reclaimed the original 16mm film, hired and supervised editor John Buchannon, and eventually, scheduled screenings for prospective backers.
Various members of the editing crew and Final Cut production house have corroborated Karasawa’s account. You can read the full report here.
Watch the trailer for Amazing Grace below.