Sultan Sharrief’s debut 16mm feature Bilal’s Stand heralds the arrival of its filmmaker as a new voice in American independent cinema. He seeks to develop socially relevant content while empowering others through the process of filmmaking. Beginning at the young age of 19 years old, Sharrief produced an MTV Movie Award-nominated film called The Spiral Project.

Years later as a University of Michigan alumnus, he started a community-based youth filmmaking program in Detroit supported by the National Center for Institutional Diversity. Known as EFEX (Encouraging the Filmmaking EXperience), Sharrief utilized this distinctive educational program to forge a unique filmmaking process that led to Bilal’s Stand, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Sharrief’s additional credits include filmmaker of Mural (a feature documentary), producer of Fulfill a Hankering (a 25 minute 16mm film), and executive producer for the 2008 EFEX 16mm short film Taffy & Cigarettes, as well as several other shorts and video projects. Sharrief is currently in development of another feature that tackles current social issues, The Bottom Line, with an accompanying reality series to shoot in the summer of 2011. Today, Sharrief continues to direct the EFEX program, work as an artist-in-residence faculty member at the University of Michigan, and maintains his skills with the Michigan Ice Carving Team that he founded in 2002.