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37 Finalists announced for the 7th annual 

Social Impact Media Awards




Contact: Brandon Ross, Director of Communications


Los Angeles, CA  – January 10th, 2019 – Selected from submission spanning 97 countries, this year’s finalists stood out with unprecedented access and creativity capturing unique accounts of today’s most relevant environmental, social and human rights issues.

The chosen films invite audiences into worlds and narratives that we’ve only glimpsed at through popular news outlets, but have never gotten to witness behind the scenes. In LITTLE PYONGYANG, director Roxy Rezvany dives into the life of a former North Korean soldier who has desires to return to home despite the threat of death,  while director duo Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson shed light on the experiences of Transgender people serving in the U.S. Military in TRANSMILITARY. Timely stories such as these will constructively shape the conversations around the issues that matter today and in the future.

Other salient themes from this year’s finalists capture hard-hitting global issues such as the refugee experience, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and labor camps. Peabody Award winning Director Leon Lee takes us into the world of Chinese Labor camps in his film  LETTER FROM MANSANJIA while THE JUDGE explores Islamic law and equality for women in Palestine. “SIMA 2019 finalists filmmakers courageously capture what humanity is up against. They bring us the most thought-provoking and crucial stories of our time as mirrors, warnings and inspirations for our future,” Daniela Kon, SIMA Founder and Executive Director.

The films for the 7th Annual SIMA Awards are judged by accomplished Filmmakers, Editors, Educators, Human Rights and Media professionals who are experienced in storytelling and know what it takes for content to have a significant impact.

“The variety, quality and depth of these stories is remarkable. These films address the personal and the political, in intelligent and challenging ways.” – María Elena de las Carreras, Lecturer, UCLA, School of Film, Theater and Television; California State University, Northridge.

The shortlisted films are now eligible for entry into SIMA’s distribution programs, SIMA X, SIMA RAMA and SIMA Classroom, and move on to the final round of judging, where they will compete for awards and cash prizes of up to $1000 per category. Winners will be announced on February 7, 2019.


List of SIMA 2019 finalists:

To download the SIMA 2019 press kit, click here.

More information:



Social Impact Media Awards is the official global media competition of SIMA STUDIOS, a non-profit impact media agency dedicated to advancing cross-cultural understanding, human rights and education by celebrating  contemporary social-issue documentaries of excellence, screening films in communities and classrooms worldwide, and connecting international audiences, educators and organizations with the best global impact media.

SIMA 2019 Sponsors include: Vena-Cava, Adobe, Black Magic Design, DEEDA, We Transfer, Big Boy Systems