Zappa Family Divided About Kickstarter Campaign

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Filmmaker Alex Winter is currently prepping a documentary about Frank Zappa that included the launch last month of a Kickstarter campaign that has raised over $960k thus far. While Winter has the support of the Zappa Family Trust, it appears not all of Frank’s children approve of the project and campaign. Ahmet and Diva Zappa have been strong supporters of Winter’s film and Kickstarter campaign, but Dweezil and Moon Zappa aren’t on board.

Gail Zappa ran the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT) from Frank’s death through her own passing last year. This past summer, months before Gail died, the ZFT revealed Ahmet Zappa had taken over day-to-day operations. Ahmet has voiced his support of Winters and the Kickstarter campaign on his social feeds as well as in this note posted on Zappa.com:

Hey Everybody,

People have been asking so I just wanted to clarify that the family is proud to give Alex Winter and his project our complete support, as well as unrestricted access to the Vault. This is the first time we’ve ever opened the Vault to someone outside of our family, but Alex is an exceptional filmmaker and storyteller, and we are excited to see him tell Frank’s story.

While we appreciate that the Kickstarter will help us with the larger project of preserving the Vault, I want to make sure everyone knows that this is NOT our project but we absolutely SUPPORT the project and Alex, and that the Zappa Family Trust will not receive any of the funds Alex raises during the Kickstarter (though if someone makes the $9 million pledge, which would obviously be awesome, a portion of that pledge will be used to purchase the house from the family at its market value).

Alongside the rest of you, we’re excited to see what Alex and his team will find.

Ahmet Zappa

Ahmet mentioned “the family is proud to give Alex Winter and his project our complete support,” yet only his younger sister Diva Zappa has weighed in to support the project:

The eldest of Frank and Gail’s children, Moon Zappa, has responded on Twitter with such tweets as “I do NOT condone Alex Winter or the @kickstarter project in any way. We are not united as a family as they suggest” to a number of tweets about Winter and the Kickstarter project. She also tweeted, “My two baby siblings were left in charge of ZFT. They choose not to consult with me or Dweezil or include us in decision making” and “I have nothing to do with Alex Winter. I do not endorse him in any way.” Moon doesn’t think Frank would appreciate Alex’s approach and feels there’s a lack a transparency which was a “FZ bedrock.”

Dweezil Zappa had been quiet on the subject until today, when he tweeted “For those of you contacting me about the Zappa kickstarter – for clarification again, I have no involvement with it whatsoever.”

Ahmet Zappa and Alex Winter have yet to address Dweezil and Moon’s remarks. In the meantime, the Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa Kickstarter campaign is reaching its final hours after becoming the most-funded documentary on Kickstarter.