Damnit, Im getting my hair cut tomorrow.
  • "Damnit, I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow."

In the sunny front window of Cafe Pettirosso this morning, local filmmaker Zia Mohajerjasbi (young, gracious, a few minutes late) received his sheet cake, declaring him the 2009 Stranger Genius in Film. He seemed confused, then excited, then confused again. "Your timing is really perfect," he said. "Three days ago I was sitting at my desk saying, 'November 1st I'm quitting.'"

In last year's Genius Awards shortlist, Charles Mudede wrote this about Zia:

The eye of the Hollywood studio sees little more of Seattle than the Space Needle; the local filmmaker, however, sees a dynamic relationship between the urban and the natural, between concrete and trees, between outside and inside. In his latest video for Blue Scholars, "Loyalty," director Zia Mohajerjasbi contrasts the rural with hiphop's multicultural solidarity. A group of urban youth walk across a field of wild grass. Though we do not see a single building, we never feel that we are anywhere else but in the middle of Seattle.

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His next project is a short film about early-'90s life in Yesler Terrace. You can view his work, including music videos for the Blue Scholars, Common Market, and Jake One, HERE.

UPDATE: Congratulate Zia (and all the other 2009 Geniuses) at the great, big, fun Genius Awards Party! November 13 at the Moore! Hooray!