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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Armstead

Culture Spotlight Featuring Sultan Ali

Sultan Ali’s passion for filmmaking began at a young age when he was exposed to the wonders of media. Being raised in southern Canada and New York City, he quickly learned how his identity as an African-American male was perceived as distorted and flat on the TV screen. To create a change, he started directing and writing his own work to share his mission of creative storytelling. Sultan holds a Bachelor of Arts, with a concentration in Film Production from Brooklyn College.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival. A milestone in my film journey. This is my second year having my work selected at the

festival and I appreciate how it has helped me grow as a Director. This festival is

opening my eyes to the community that lives within Harlem filmmakers.

Why are “stories from the culture” worthy of a platform?

Without culture we have no stories. The realities told by the culture provide a necessary view into how our experiences can be shared. The more stories we tell the better we change outside perceptions. Additionally, from a Director’s standpoint, we help challenge the next age of filmmakers. The more we show the culture the better the stories become.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip-Hop Film Festival are important? African-American filmmakers need a hub for their work. We are entering a shift in this industry, Harlem Film House & HHFF offer the tools to stay on the path.

What projects are you working on now? I’m directing a short experimental documentary about the history of middle-class housing in Harlem. It will focus on the history of the residents and how Harlem is home to some extraordinary people!

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