Frank Zappa Documentary Coming On Thanksgiving Weekend

By Scott Bernstein Aug 7, 2020 6:51 am PDT

A Frank Zappa documentary, Zappa, directed by Alex Winter finally has a release date. Zappa will be screened at theaters across North America and via video-on-demand on November 27, the day after Thanksgiving. The rights to the long-awaited film were acquired by Magnolia Pictures as per, the outlet that first reported the release date.

Winter, best known for starring as Bill S. Preston Esquire in the Bill & Ted movies, put together the film with the approval and access from the Zappa Family Trust. Frank’s late widow, Gail Zappa, appears in the documentary as do a number of the guitarist/composer’s collaborators including Scott Thunes, Ruth Underwood, Steve Vai, Ian Underwood and Mike Keneally.

Zappa was supposed to premiere at this year's SXSW before the festival was called off in the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. “Zappa was an extremely complicated and brilliant man who had as many detractors as he had fans,” Alex Winter told Rolling Stone when the SXSW premiere was announced. “I hope that our audience finds him as captivating and significant an American artist as I do.”

“Alex had unfettered access to everything in our vault and total creative freedom to make this movie, unlike other filmmakers,” added Zappa Family Trust head Ahmet Zappa to Rolling Stone. “This film is by far the most intimate and expansive look into the innovative life of Frank Zappa, narrated by Frank in his own words. It’s quite unbelievable what Alex has achieved. This is the definitive Frank Zappa documentary.”

“This is the most ambitious project I’ve ever worked on, with a couple years of archival preservation in addition to several years to make the film itself,” Winter explained in a statement. “This isn’t your typical music doc but rather a multi-faceted narrative that aims to bring this complex artist to life. Magnolia, with its long and distinguished history of platforming great cinema, is the perfect home for Zappa.”

More Zappa Documentary on JamBase
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