Born in the wake of the 1990 Goodwill Games, the seventh installation of the now-biennial Seattle Arab and Iranian Film Festival brought 16 films plus a program of shorts to Cinerama and the Broadway Performance Hall this past March and April. But Beirut-born, Southern-California-trained producer and curator JOHN SINNO has worked to keep the films of the politically crucial and artistically rich Arab world in filmgoers' consciousness all the time, not just a week every other year. So, in 1998, he founded Arab Film Distribution, which now boasts a catalog of nearly 350 titles from 16 countries. Furthermore, his new production company, Typecast Films, has just launched its highest-profile project, the rapturously reviewed (and Sundance-honored) documentary Iraq in Fragments, directed by San Juan Islander James Longley. www.arabfilm.com
Best of Seattle 2006
World City Edition
Reader picks at a glance
John Sinno's Picks
Best Place to Rent Movies: You can't go wrong with the titles on the second-take shelves at Scarecrow Video.
Best Fasanjoun: Caspian Grill. People go there for the kebabs. I go there for the best kept secret on the menu: fasanjoun [chicken in pomegranate sauce].
Best Dessert: A cold cup of firni (Afghani rice pudding) at Kabul on 45th.
Best Eel Sushi: Menaki in the International District, by far.
Best Hummus: Trader Joe's, for its extra dose of cumin and lemon.
Best Congressman: Jim McDermott. A rare mixture of moral vision, independence, and patriotism in American politics.
Best New Arts Organization: NDA (Northwest Documentary Association), for trying to promote the making and appreciation of documentaries in the Northwest.
Best Place to Shoot a Futuristic Movie on the Cheap: Seattle Public Library, an architectural wonder and a budding filmmaker's dream.
Best World Music Promoter: Spider Kedelsky of Town Hall. He represents all cultures—and with love.
Best KUOW-FM Syndicated Show: Alternative Radio . . . David Barsamian tells it like it is.
Best Place to Protest the Bush Administration: Green Lake!