CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The Aretha Franklin concert film “Amazing Grace” will open this year’s Roger Ebert film festival in Champaign-Urbana.

The University of Illinois says the 1972 film directed by Sydney Pollack has been stored in a vault for decades.

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It’s now been restored and released. It will kick off this year’s Ebertfest followed by a live community choir performance. Franklin died at the age of 76 in August from pancreatic cancer.

Film critic Roger Ebert applauds his wife, Chaz, before he was honored with a sidewalk medallion under the marquee of the Chicago Theatre on Monday, July 18, 2005, in Chicago. Ebert, 63, became the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1966 and a decade later became the first film critic to receive a Pulitzer Prize for arts criticism. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Ebertfest co-founder Chaz Ebert says that instead of opening with the traditional musical, this year the festival will begin with “a glorious, gospel-infused high note.”

The annual festival honors Ebert, the late Chicago Sun-Times film critic and an Illinois graduate.

It runs April 10 to 13 at Champaign’s Virginia Theatre. More films and a screening schedule are to be released.

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