Private Project

The Minority Vote Film

During the heat of the 2016 Presidential Election, The Minority Vote follows five millennial voters -- African American, Arab American, Native American, Latinx and a Trump supporter -- as they navigate their individual journeys of political activism and inaction.

Through the film's original score and intimate interviews, The Minority Vote reveals the best and the worst of America: optimism and hope, despair and resilience -- while giving us a glimpse into the lives of everyday Americans. Though the film focuses on minority communities, the testimonies are universal – and the lessons invaluable.

This is The Minority Vote.

(The film is a work in progress, set to be completed in February 2017. The post-election portion of the film is being edited).

  • Zinhle Essamuah
    Hands Up, Everything Between, Follow the Noise
  • Imani Cheers
    PBS NewsHour
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    45 hours 17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 17, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Zinhle Essamuah, Imani Cheers

Zinhle Essamuah

is a young and undeniably original and imaginative filmmaker, photographer and artist in her final year as a graduate student at The George Washington University (GWU). She recently graduated from the Institute for Documentary Filmmaking in Washington DC.

At the age of 20, her first documentary, Hands Up, premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival. Hands Up chronicles the #BlackLivesMatter movement from Ferguson to Baltimore and screened at eight film festivals -- also progressing to the semi-finals of the Student Academy Awards. Now, in 2016, Zinhle and her co-director, Dr. Imani M. Cheers, have offered a unique look at the voices of minority, millennial voters in the heat of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Learn more at:


Dr. Imani M. Cheers

is an award winning multimedia producer and Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C which she joined in May 2013. Before joining the faculty at GWU, Cheers was director of educational resources for PBS NewsHour, where she managed all educational resources for the program’s website, which averages more than 50,000 hits a day and more than 10 million unique visitors a year. She also managed the NewsHour’s student reporting labs program, a global journalism initiative that has partnered with sites in the Middle East, Africa and South America. Previously, she was a producer/writer at Howard University Television and a multimedia producer/intern at

Before that, she was a community organizer at the DC Rape Crisis Center in Washington, D.C. She received her BFA in photography at Washington University in St. Louis, a Master’s degree in African Studies and Research from Howard University and her doctorate in Mass Communications and Media Studies at Howard. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association for Media Literacy Education, DAWN (Diaspora African Women's Network) and a 2013 New Media Fellow with the International Reporting Project. Learn more at:

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Director Statement

In the last several years, issues of race and ethnicity have dominated daily news headlines. Racial disparities continue to underscore the most prominent socioeconomic issues of this time. Yet, presidential candidates in both parties are struggling to appeal to and mobilize the minority voter. What does this mean for the 2016 presidential election?

The Minority Vote is a feature length documentary and interactive website that documents millennial motivations for voting and creates a film toolkit to equip minority millennials with the tools to get informed and get to the ballot.