Social Impact Media AwardsSocial Impact Media Awards

SIMA 2014 FINALISTS

2014 FINALISTS

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

A-River-Changes-CourseA River Changes Course
Director: Kalyanee Mam
2013 | Cambodia
83 min

 

A River Changes Course captures the stories of three young Cambodians struggling to maintain their traditional way of life while the modern world closes in around them. The once abundant forests and plentiful rivers have fallen victim to land grabbing, deforestation, and dwindling fish stock that rural and indigenous communities heavily depend on to survive. This stunningly photographed documentary is a powerful tribute to the struggles of all families coping with the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

 

A World Not OursA World Not Ours
Director: Mahdi Fleifel
2012 | UK | Lebanon | Denmark | UAE | Palestine
93 min

 

A World Not Ours is an intimate and humorous portrait of three generations of exile in the refugee camp of Ein el-Helweh, in southern Lebanon. Based on a wealth of personal recordings, family archives, and historical footage, the film is a sensitive, and illuminating study of belonging, friendship, and family.

 

Blood BrotherBlood Brother
Director: Steve Hoover
2012 | USA | India
93 min

 

Rocky Braat went traveling through India and met a group of HIV positive children living in an orphanage – a meeting that changed everything for him. He left his life, friends, and career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to live with the kids. In an effort to find out what compelled Rocky to give up every source of stability in his life, his best friend decided to trace Rocky’s story, following him to India and witnessing Rocky and the kids endure disease, abject poverty, and death. ‘Blood Brother’ is a story of friendship. It’s a story of a life, stripped down to its essence. Most of all, it is a story about love and endurance.

 

Future My LoveFuture My Love
Director: Maja Borg
2012 | UK | Sweden
93 min

 

How much freedom are we prepared to give to the ones we love? And how much responsibility are we ready to take for our society? At the brink of losing the idealistic love of her life, Borg explores a radically different economic and social model proposed by 95-year-old futurist Jacque Fresco and poignantly depicts the universal struggle between our heads and hearts in times of big change.

 

Gideon's-ArmyGideon’s Army
Director: Dawn Porter
2013 | USA
96 min

 

Gideon’s Army follows three young public defenders that are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality?

 

Holy WaterHoly Water
Director: Octavio Guerra
2013 | Costa Rica | Spain
82 min

 

In a small village in Costa Rica, the residents of Nicaraguan origin forecast a great drought during the summer months. Mr. Nelson, a schoolteacher, writes a small play relating to the problems. His plan is to make the village aware of the importance of building an aqueduct. Geiner, an eleven-year-old child, believes that the spirits are the only ones that can make rain.

 

One day after Peace 1One Day After Peace
Director: Erez Laufer
2012 | Israel | South Africa
86 min

 

Can the means used to resolve the conflict in South Africa be applied to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Born in South Africa during the Apartheid era, Robi attempts to initiate a dialogue with the Palestinian who killed her son while he was serving in the Israeli Army. After facing rejection, she embarks on a journey back to South Africa to learn more about the country’s TRC in overcoming years of enmity. Robi’s thought-provoking journey leads from a place of deep personal pain to a belief that a better future is possible.

 

Project Wild ThingProject Wild Thing
Director: David Bond
2013 | UK
79 min

 

David Bond is a filmmaker and a father. Things have really changed since he was a kid. His children are hooked on screens and don’t want to go outdoors. Determined to get them up and out, David appoints himself as the Marketing Director for Nature. With the help of branding and outdoor experts, he develops and launches a nationwide marketing campaign to get British children outside. PROJECT WILD THING is the hilarious, real-life story of one man’s determination to get children out and into the ultimate, free wonder- product: Nature.

 

Pussy RiotPussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Director: Mike Lerner
2013 | UK | Russia
88 min

 

Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond, three young artists or the society they live in?

 

The RunnerThe Runner
Direcotr: Saeed Taji Farouky
2013 | UK | France | Ireland | Western Sahara
94 min

 

The Runner is the story of a champion long-distance runner whose journey transformed him from being an athlete to becoming a symbol of the national liberation movement. Salah Ameidan is willing to risk his life, his career, his family and his nationality to run for Western Sahara, a country that doesn’t exist.

 

The_Shebabs_of_Yarmouk_1The Shebabs of Yarmouk
Director: Axel Salvatori-Sinz
2012 | France | Syria
78 min

 

The Shebabs have made up a small group of boys & girls since they were teens. Now on the eve of adulthood, they have a genuine thirst for life and for absolute, while being all confronted to intricate situations. Between the need for freedom and sticking to the group, between longing for revolt and the prospect of a well-ordered life, choices are hard to make; even more so if you’re a Palestinian refugee in the camp of Yarmouk, in Syria.

 

Stealing-AfricaStealing Africa
Director: Christopher Guldbrandsen
2012 | Zambia | Switzerland | USA | UK
58 min

 

Zambia has the third largest copper reserves in the world, but 60% of the population lives on less than $1 a day. Ruschlikon is a village in Switzerland with a very low tax rate and very wealthy residents. It receives more tax than it can use thanks to one resident, Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, whose copper mines in Zambia are generating huge profits.

 

Tough BondTough Bond
Directors: Anneliese Vandenberg & Austin Peck
2013 | USA | Kenya
84 min

 

There is a new tribe in Kenya called “Survivors” and they are easily identified by the bottle pressed against their lips. This fiercely loyal gang of children exists in the margins of an urban wilderness, huffing glue to endure the hell of street life. Following 4 kids over three years, Tough Bond delivers an alarming portrait of life in modern day Kenya.

 

Three Moments, A ShoutThree Moments, A Shout
Director: Cecilia Barriga
2013 Chile/ Spain/ USA
96 min

 

A powerful visual voyage following three moments of “Occupy,” the global revolution: the Occupy Movement in Madrid, on Wall Street and finally, at a school in Santiago, Chile.

 

The State of InsanityThe State of Insanity
Director: Francesco Cordio
2013 | Italy
72 min

 

In Italy there are 6 OPG, commonly called criminal asylums, in which about 1500 people are locked up. The first-person account of an actor, ex-inmate in one of these hospitals, is intertwined with scenes filmed, without prior notice, in these places that have been “forgotten” about even by the State.

 

We Are PoetsWe Are Poets
Director: Alex Ramseyer-Bache
2012 | UK
81 min

 

In the age of Facebook and digital communication, a remarkable group of British teenagers have chosen to define themselves through one of the most ancient, and potent, forms of expression out there – the spoken poem. We Are Poets presents a moving and poignant story of youth, art and freedom of expression, as it intimately follows six young poets from youth literary group, Leeds Young Authors.

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

After The FallAfter The Fall: HIV Grows Up
Director: Frederick Taylor
2012 | USA | Romania
40 min

 

In 1989, as Communism fell across Eastern Europe, doctors and nurses in Romania quickly discovered they were dealing with a grand epidemic of pediatric AIDS in their hospitals and institutions. This film offers an intimate portrait of some of the survivors- heroes with inspiring stories that demonstrate triumph in the face of remarkable challenges.

 

At Home, In Beds, and In The StreetAt Home, In Beds, and In The Street
Director: Liz Miller
2013 | Canada | Nicaragua
36 min

 

From a small country with a revolutionary history, comes a compelling TV drama with a big vision. This documentary follows an inspiring Nicaraguan women’s rights group, Puntos de Encuentro, as it works to end sexual violence at home, in beds, and in the street through a powerful blend of mainstream media and grassroots organizing.

 

The-Little-Guerrilla-GirlThe Little Guerrilla Girl
Director: Giancarlo Bocchi
2013 | Italy | Burma
40 min

 

For the last seventy years, the Karen, one of the most important ethnic minorities in Burma, have been fighting for their freedom, first against the Japanese and immediately afterwards against the military regime in power. In the longest armed resistance in contemporary history, fought in an impenetrable territory covered in a hostile jungle between Thailand and the Andaman Sea, the Karen women fight on the front line for the independence of their people.

 

MineritaMinerita
Director: Raul De la Fuente
2013 | Spain | Bolivia
27 min

Cerro Rico in Potosí (Bolivia) is a lawless territory, characterized by brutal violence. The miners risk their lives every day, digging for silver and zinc in crumbling galleries. The ones that survive think they’re entitled to anything and everything. And that’s when they go on the hunt… for women. Minerita is the story of three women—Lucía (40), Ivone (16) and Abigail (17)—who work as night watch women in the mines, struggling to survive in an inhuman inferno. Their only weapon is their courage… and dynamite.

 

My NeighbourhoodMy Neighbourhood
Directors: Julia Bacha & Rebekah Wingert-Jabi
2012 | USA | Palestine | Israel
26 min

 

My Neighbourhood chronicles the coming-of-age story of Mohammed El Kurd, a Palestinian boy growing up in the heart of East Jerusalem. When Mohammed turns 11, his family is forced to give up part of their home to Israeli settlers, who are leading a campaign of court-sanctioned evictions to guarantee Jewish control of the area. Determined to remain in their homes, Mohammed and his neighbors wage a campaign of nonviolent protests against the evictions. In a surprising turn, they are quickly joined by scores of Israeli supporters who are horrified to see what is being done in their name.

 

Om AmiraOm Amira
Director: Naji Esmail
2013 | Egypt
25 min

 

Om Amira, “Amira’s Mother,” is now a Cairo resident living on one of Downtown’s roof tops with her husband, Gamal, and their two daughters. Having no other option but to toughen up to support her family and her sick daughter who has heart disease, Om Amira sells homemade fried potatoes sandwiches in a side street, meters away from Tahrir Square where the spark of the Egyptian Revolution started.

 

The Sound BarrierThe Sound Barrier
Directors: Thibault Dufour & Philip Drouin
2013 | Burkina Faso | France | USA
23 min

 

A mosquito-repellent soap that prevents malaria, straw bricks made out of agricultural residues for more sustainable housing, a biodigester made out of recycled plastic to create bio-gas for rural populations. The film follows 3 innovative social business ideas from students in Africa to take on major challenges faced by their continent. As they compete with hundreds of projects from around the world, one project starts to demonstrate that it just might have what it takes to make it all the way; a step towards international recognition that could mean a symbolic victory for the African youth.

 

Sunflower SeedsSunflower Seeds
Director: Antonis Tolakis
2013 | Greece
32 min

 

“I’ve been here about two years, and it feels like twenty have passed.” Among a group of children surviving on the streets of Athens is Sayid, a twelve-year old boy, who works all day selling sunflower seeds in the city’s suburban parks. He wants to leave for Northern Europe to go to school and to have a decent job when he grows up. But how fast does a child grow? Sayid is trapped in Greece, a country plagued by a financial crisis, increasing unemployment, rampant xenophobia, and racist violence.

 

The UprisingThe Uprising
Director: Nicol Ragland
2011 | USA
8 min

 

From black panthers to young philosophers, to Hasidic Jews, to journalists, to musicians, to CEOs, to the homeless, to kids with I-Pads, to ex- Wall Street members shouting ‘I don’t think it’s the people that are the problem, it’s the system and these bad incentives.” We were all the same and instantaneously in solidarity and conversation towards change. All of us had ideologies but what blanketed the air most was that all of us were at work for each other in a two acre plot of land in the midst of the concrete jungle we call New York.

 

Through the FireThrough The Fire
Director: Eunice Lau
2013 | Somalia
39 min

 

For two decades, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Dr Hawa Abdi has been a beacon of hope for 90,000 Somalis who found refuge on her farm during the conflict. At age 19, Ilwad Elman returned to war-torn Mogadishu to continue the work of her father by running rehabilitation programs for child soldiers. After witnessing the destruction of her homeland, Edna Adan returned to Hargeisa to build the University Hospital of Somaliland. ‘Through the Fire’ shows how three remarkable women helped hold their country together during its darkest hour.

 

When The Time ComesWhen The Time Comes
Director: Charles Gay
2012 | France | Kenya | USA
13 min

 

Shot among the Samburu semi-nomadic tribe of Kenya, “When The Time Comes” portraits its relation to the ancestral and controversial practice that is female circumcision (Female Genital Cutting) and highlights the inter-generational debate that is taking place in their communities, allowing girls and women to fight for their rights, with the support of many men.

 

EDU IMPACT VIDEOS

DESMEEMDESMEEM
Director: Doreen Toutikian
2012 | Lebanon
20 min

 

This film captures the three months of the DESMEEM project that took place in Lebanon in 2012. Designers and activists from Europe and the US traveled to Lebanon to work with local designers and activists to co-create user-centered solutions to social and environmental challenges. Each team took on one challenge and worked with a relevant local NGO to develop their research and test their prototypes.\

 

Tribal Man in Transition, Kenya, 1985DIGNITY
Director: Dana Gluckstein
2012 | USA
11 min

 

The DIGNITY film is a key component to a human rights campaign, which includes the photography exhibition, DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition, by Dana Gluckstein. DIGNITY helped create the “tipping point” for President Obama to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This film focuses on the urgent need for implementation of UNDRIP and continues to educate and inspire millions of people as it tours museums and cultural venues throughout Europe and the US.

 

EXPOSED The Rise of a SuperbugEXPOSED: The Rise of a Superbug
Director: Mo Scarpelli
2013 | USA | South Africa
11 min

 

In The Rise of a Superbug, Dr. Jayant Banavaliker, a leading TB doctor in Delhi, chronicles his daily struggle to save patients using today’s antiquated tools. The film also follows the harrowing story of Phumeza Tisile’s near-death experience with extensively drug-resistant TB, which takes place in Cape Town.

 

Giving HopeGiving Hope to Drug Users in Moscow: The Andrey Rylkov Foundation
Directors: István Gábor Takács and Péter Sárosi
2012 | Hungary | Russia
20 min

 

“People come here to inject because they can easily run away if the police show up,” says Vova, a street outreach worker with the Andrey Rylkov Foundation (ARF). There are many hotspots that outreach workers of the ARF visit every day to provide sterile injecting equipment, condoms and other forms of help for these young people. ARF is the first and only NGO distributing clean needles and syringes among injecting drug users on the streets of Moscow – with zero government funding and support.

 

Governance for SustainabilityGovernance for Sustainability in Hyderabad, India
Director: Marcus Mangeot
2013 | India | Germany
17 min

 

What does urban growth in times of climate change mean to a city and its people in an emerging country? This film concentrates on one of India’s most rapid urban growth centers – Hyderabad – and gives mentionable insights on how the inhabitants cope with food security, agricultural problems, urban sprawl, education, energy supply as well as consumption.

 

The Story of StuffThe Story of Stuff
Director: Louis Fox
2013 | USA
21 min

 

The Story of Stuff is a fast paced, fact-filled look at the often hidden underside of today’s globalized systems of production and consumption. It calls on viewers to help build a more sustainable, healthy and fair system.

 

Rebuilding Life in Haiti 2Rebuilding life in Haiti through empowering local initiatives
Director: Anne Lescot
2013 | France | Haiti
17 min

 

How do we provide effective aid to Haiti and the Haitian population? By supporting urban and rural development- its culture and, for the first time in Haiti, small entrepreneurs. This film documents the journey through these fours areas of development in Haiti by means of an innovative approach in aid distribution.

 

The Road Toward PalestinianThe Road Toward Palestinian Self-Determination in Development
Director: Sami Alalul
2013 | Palestine
10 min

 

How can Palestinians achieve self-determination in development if they don’t control their own resources? Palestinian community foundation, the Dalia Association, shows how small, unrestricted grants help communities focus on their priorities and build skills and credibility to increase impact.

 

Their Day In CourtTheir Day In Court
Director: Sean Kelly
2012 | Canada | Jamaica
8 min
Life can be difficult for children living in the creative, but sometimes volatile, inner-city neighborhoods of Kingston, Jamaica. If an adolescent is a victim of a crime and has to go to court, the case could fall apart because the child is too frightened to testify. This is why development groups and the Jamaican government have created the ‘Children in Court’ program.

 

The WallsThe Walls
Directors: Gonzalo Escuder & Nacho Gomez
2013 | USA | Spain
14 min

 

Students from Washington State University visit the prison at Coyote Ridge in order to participate in a debate about gun control. The rest of the participants are the debate club members from the prison – a group of inmates that have been transformed and inspired by their new contact with education; prisoners that cling to it as their last chance for redemption.