Orcas Island Film Festival kicks off its free “Summer Film Series Under the Stars” this Sunday, July 21, on the Eastsound Village Green.
The first film featured is the long-awaited Aretha Franklin’s “Amazing Grace,” a concert documentary.
In January 1972, Franklin joined forces with Rev. James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir to make “Amazing Grace,” a double live album recorded during two church services at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack documented the making of a live album, and the film crew was able to catch the Queen of Soul blow the roof off the place; and the shows she put on were electrifying.
The 29-year-old singer was returning to her gospel roots with the black church music that helped form her and fired up her faith. The album sold over two million copies and became the jewel in the crown of the queen. The album, “Amazing Grace,” became the bestselling gospel album of all time. The film has never before been seen until now. Bring a chair, a blanket and get ready to be taken to “Church” under the stars. Film starts at dusk, at approximately 8:30 p.m.