Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2020
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 129 minutes


ZAPPA is an in-depth look into the life and work of legendary rock musician and composer, Frank Zappa. The documentary is crafted from thousands of hours of unreleased material from Frank Zappa’s private archives—never before seen by the public. Stylistic editing effortlessly combines archival footage, home videos, and previously recorded interviews to present an account of the artist’s entire life. Punctuated with interviews from early bandmates, fellow musicians, and his wife, Gail Zappa, the film tells the story of how he became one of the most nonconforming, rebel musicians and illustrates his lasting impact on rock music. From biting social lyrics to openly criticizing censorship, Zappa was an artist unbound by social conventions. Set to a score representing his entire catalog, the film features all his musical styles, including his lesser-known orchestral work. ZAPPA is an intimate portrait of one of the most controversial American artists in the 20th century. Described as the definitive story on Frank Zappa’s life, this film is a must-see for any Zappa or rock music fan. — R.R.

CIFF44 Screenings

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 11:20 AM

Wednesday, April 01, 2020 at 4:10 PM

Thursday, April 02, 2020 at 9:15 PM

Accessibility (?)
Closed Captions: No
Audio Description: No
English Subtitles: No

Music Movies Competition


Alex Winter

Alex Winter, Glen Zipper, Ahmet Zappa, John Frizzell, Devorah DeVries

Anghel Decca

Mike J. Nichols

Film Contact
Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today