"I must say being a native of St. Louis, MO watching this gave me a chill. Almost like I was transported back home in a time that was standing still...she did cover parts of the Baltimore riots that took place recently. It is a new awakening of change; a revolution of ideas which were born from the frustrated. The unwanted ones who are oppressed by a system that was built on the foundations of systematic racism. The #BlackLivesMatter Movement is real people and hope for a collective, sincere societal order of equals is a cause all races seem to desire. That is the outlook that “Hands Up” wanted to inspire and you know what—it did."

- K.G. Bethlehem, Some'n Unique Magazine

Youth filmmakers generate dialogue around social issues at this year’s NFFTY

Seattle Times, April 2016


"Hands Up,” a film by 20-year-old Zinhle Essamuah that documents the activists of the #BlackLivesMatter movement."

'Hands Up': SMPA Student’s Film Puts a Lens on Black Lives Matter

GW Today, September 2015


"To witness the love and experience deep connections in Ferguson, in many ways, made me more committed to the story. It wasn’t about the grant or the project. It was about the people, their hope—and continued struggle."

"Student Filmmaker Creates Black Lives Matter Documentary"

GVH Live, April 2015


"The national youth response to the events happening after last year's death of unarmed teen Michael Brown have been abundant.


Currently, Zinhle Essamuah, a third year student filmmaker at George Washington University, is making a documentary entitled, Hands Up, which focuses on the activism efforts of Black millennials in Ferguson, Missouri."

"A Conversation with Zinhle Essamuah"

Ace Magazine, March 2015


"In a world that tends to hold the view that milennials are "lazy," Essamuah so far has been surprised by what she has learned about the action young people have actually taken."

"Prize Winners Dig Deep into Popular Social Media Platform"

School of Media and Public Affairs, February 2015


“As a journalist, filmmaker and black millennial, last semester I was intrigued by the reactions of my peers to the Brown and Garner jury decisions,” said Essamuah. “I witnessed anger, protests, confusion, apathy, ‘die-ins’, guilt and — perhaps most importantly — a story that needed to be told. The story of black millennials and their response to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner jury decisions is inspired me to create a documentary, which the Manheim-Sterling Prize will help complete.”