“On a JOURNEY to the TOP...enjoying every moment along the way!”
To say that Usman Sharif is one of the entertainment industry’s world's rising talents would be an understatement. With numerous high-profiled feature film dramas and comedies and guest starring sitcom appearances credited to his name, a list of successful businesses he personally owns and in some cases operate, the cliché, “the sky is the limit” truthfully applies to this extraordinary, yet humble man.
Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Usman has two sisters and three brothers. Although his parents divorced when he was eight, Usman remained close with his Father whom he credits his strong faith and entrepreneurial spirit. This led Usman to eventually major in business administration at Essex County College, graduating in 1994. Usman then went on to Kean University in Union, NJ in pursuit of his Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management.
He launched a number of successful businesses over the next several years yet his inclination and desire to entertain grew in his heart and soul. In 2002, Usman confirmed his feelings of wanting to entertain the masses when one evening while watching a film, he realized he belonged on screen instead of in the audience. Thus in 2003, Usman decided to begin his journey in pursuing entertainment professionally. He partnered with a friend to produce a documentary about women and their everyday struggles, which did very well in the film festival circuit, winning several awards including The Audience Award in The New York International Film Festival. This eventually relocated Usman to Los Angeles, Ca. Before his trek out west, Usman joined an acting class given by the well-respected acting teacher Tracey Moore. She then introduced Usman to her husband (at the time), director Maurice Marable, who cast him in his first break, a commercial for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
Usman then landed pivotal supporting roles in the following high-profile feature films; Spike Lee’s WWII epic “Miracle at St. Anna,” as “Radio man Hughes” alongside Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonzo, Omar Benson, and Walton Goggins. “You’re Nobody tilSomebody Kills You, produced by Spike Lee, “Notorious,” directed by George Tillman Jr., chronicling the life of well-known rap artist Notorious B.I.G., and "3 Can Play That Game", as Alex starring Vivica A. Fox and directed by Samad Davis. Usman also starred in “HUG”, ( 2009 Sundance Film Festival) and landed guest starring roles on HBO’s “The Wire” and “Tyler Perry's House of Payne” as Firefighter Perkins.
No stranger to the titles Executive Producer and Producer, Usman Executive produced an award winning documentary entitled "A Pillar of Salt, The Angry Woman Syndrome", and the award winning and contest winning short film "Glimpse" which was the prelude to the award winning feature film "Mooz-Lum" (did not produce) starring NiaLong, Evan Ross, Danny Glover, Dorian Missick and Roger Guenervire Smith. Usman, Produced the documentary "Minds of Men" (in which he also starred). Usman is currently overseas in Ghana, West Africa Co-Executive Producing a new television reality show entitled "The Spirited Actor; Africa's Next Big Hollywood Star." He has plans to plant roots in Ghana furthering the "Gollywood" system of entertainment currently running there.
Usman continues to enjoy producing a variety of business opportunities as well. Usman profound production "Criminal Behavior", a feature film that was filmed in Atlanta in May 2012, he Executive Produced, Produced and Starred in. "Criminal Behavior" is a film based on dealing with one's past to help create and protect a better future. Usman is already in pre-production for his next feature film that he's doing with Newark Native Alonzo Herran called "Living With No Regrets", which is a biopic based off Mr. Herran's life. Usman will Produce and have a principle role in this film. Usman’s talents are propelling him in the direction of being highly sought after in the film industry. Usman forthcoming guest appearance will be in season 3 of BET’s new critically acclaimed Being Mary Jane, staring Gabrielle Union.
Usman is the leading actor in the long awaited feature film “Clipped Wings They Do Fly” that brings awareness to the plight of individuals and families who suffer from various forms of Mental Illnesses. Clipped Wings They Do Fly is currently a part of the 2015Manhattan Film Festival and the 41st Newark Black Film Festival. Usman is proudly the owner of frozen dessert restaurants, which is part of the huge Rita's Water Ice franchise, a construction company, a real estate investment firm and a property management company. In his spare time, if there is such a thing for him, Usmanenjoys weight training, boxing, football, basketball, softball, Tae Kwon Do (a second degree black belt) motorcycling and spending as much time with his family as possible.
So as you can see and as Usman is quick to tell you, if you want to watch this young man's meteoric rise to the top...