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'Bilal's Stand' goes from UM film class to Sundance

By AP

ANN ARBOR, MI –

A movie that began in a University of Michigan film class has made it to the top of the ski hill, beating thousands of other entries for a spot at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

"Bilal's Stand" is the creation of 25-year-old Michigan graduate Sultan Sharrief. It's being screened Monday night in Sundance's new NEXT category for very low budget films.

It's one of eight films in the category.

Sharrief says the story is "highly personal" and based on him and his family in Detroit.

It tells of an African-American Muslim high school student who works for his family's cab company and his struggle over whether to attend the prestigious and expensive University of Michigan or attend Henry Ford Community College.

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