TEAM

“We work to be one powerful force in paving the way for a progressive global consciousness through film”

DANIELA KON  | Founder + Executive Director

Daniela Kon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and consultant working at the intersection of human rights, global development and impact media for the past decade. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she completed her BA in Media and Cultural Studies and MA in Documentary Production at The London College of Communications and Royal Holloway, University of London. She moved to New York in 2003 working for Emmy award-winning director Marc Levin at Blowback Productions, and was the researcher and assistant editor for HBO and THINK Film’s “Protocols of Zion,” an Official Sundance Selection. She founded documentary and impact agency, DEEDA Productions, in 2005 and has since worked with filmmakers, NGOs and aid organizations in Cambodia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Israel, Liberia, Senegal, and the US, creating documentaries and impact campaigns on a plethora of social justice issues. Her film credits range from the award winning documentary TALIBE, the United Nations FAO Ending Hunger Campaign and the UN Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD), to collaborations with grassroots initiatives in Education, Voluntourism, Youth Leadership, Girls and Women’s Empowerment, LGBT Rights, Water Management, Children’s Rights, and Modern-day Slavery. Kon is a member of CAP with Creative Visions Foundation, a board member of the HRW Film Committee and the Women’s Rights Committee of Human Rights Watch in Los Angeles. She is the co-founder of humanitarian robotics company, Symbiobotics, a producer and strategist for social issue documentaries, impact media productions, and international advocacy campaigns. Driven by the premise of maximizing responsible impact through creativity, Kon founded the Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) in 2012, dedicated to advancing the culture of impact filmmaking and to supporting filmmakers and change-makers in their work.  

GEMMA BRADSHAW | Education Program Director

Gemma’s experience in both film and public policy are brought together in her dedication to social impact cinema. Since winning a Blue Peter Badge – part of a national BBC TV program – for a recycling campaign poster at the age of 10, Gemma has been passionate about encouraging people to play their part. She went on to complete a BA in Geography at the University of Durham and then a graduate degree in Development Studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies, U. of London. Gemma started her career in London, first in local government and on to lead the center for local sustainability at the local democracy thinktank LGiU. Her research on the role of local government in reducing carbon emissions was presented as part of the UN Climate Change negotiations at COP15. A relocation to San Francisco opened her eyes to the power of the film industry to influence change, and as COO for the SF Green Film Festival she used her skills in strategy, communications and building partnerships to grow the reach of the festival and engaging audiences in action. In her new LA home, Gemma joins SIMA as the Education Program Director, ready to open even more eyes to the power of documentary films.

ANDREA KELSEY | Operations Manager

Andrea is a media creator, expert communicator, and enthusiastic collaborator; somewhat of a jill of all trades. She has a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Appalachian State University, and her interest in aesthetics and modes of communication led her to pursue a Masters in Media Studies from The New School University. Andrea’s passion for digital mediums lies in the potential to share experience and perspective, which she has explored through the creation of advocacy and narrative video, building community websites, and supporting innovators and activists. She has worked on videos for UN Volunteers, Ashoka U, Women’s Initiative, and The International Field Program at The New School, and was a program administrator at The New School before joining SIMA.

EVA S. NELSON | Liaison to the United Nations

Eva S. Nelson is SIMA’s liaison to the UN and other organization in Europe and the United States. She has lived and worked in Africa, the US and Europe. Ms. Nelson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and went on to work with multiple financial institutions on Wall Street. After several years she realized that her calling was in international humanitarian work. She joined the United Nations as a Consultant where she still works. As an advocate for human rights, child education, peace and anti-slavery, she lends her assistance to organizations dedicated to these causes including Artists4Freedom. Ms. Nelson is also an award-winning author who writes African action-adventure stories on topics like: human-trafficking, war, LRA, espionage, colonialism and corruption. Nelson’s first novel, “Nightmare Along the River Nile” is set in Uganda and Sudan. It is about a student who was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and sold into slavery. “Nightmare Along the River Nile” was listed among the top books on slavery by “The No Project.” Nelson’s second novel, “The Helpers” is an international tale of espionage and corruption, which is set in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Europe and the United States.

KRISTI MANNING | Impact Agent & Grassroots Program Officer

For more than 15 years, Kristi Manning has been dedicated to helping maximize humanitarian relief efforts, working as a consultant, field operations manager, project director, and international event organizer for non-profits worldwide. She combines expertise in both institutional aid and grassroots initiatives, providing support in fundraising, planning, implementation and monitoring of local and global development programs. Manning is the co-founder of The Next Right Thing, a non-profit connecting critically ill or injured children from developing nations with free medical treatment and transport. Her clients include Dubai Cares, The Starbright Foundation, Carrie-On, Paul Newman’s Painted Turtle Camp, and the Strongheart Fellowship. Manning oversees SIMA’s Grassroots Program, facilitating screenings for community-based humanitarian and advocacy initiatives worldwide.

LUCY XIONG | Communications Manager

Lucy is a content strategist and writer who’s traversed through many industries to return to her core passion, social transformation. She received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she created her own concentration titled, “Democratizing New Media,” which examined the social, political, and economic trajectories that come with changing media technologies. Her professional background echos the broad eclecticism of her personality, from fashion photography in NYC, to music journalism, to managing social media for an automotive publication in Detroit — Lucy hones her creative instrument with broad strokes of life experience and an insatiable desire for the world’s stories.

DOUG BEACOM | Digital Content Manager

Doug is an educator with experience in formal & non-formal education; after teaching with Teach For America in New Orleans, his love of learning and travel led him to teaching with the JET Program in Nagasaki, Japan, working with communities, schools, libraries and bicycles in Cambodia, with technology, digital media and art in classrooms in New York City and San Diego, and, finally, with goats and sauerkraut in Santa Cruz County. Doug joined the SIMA family in 2012 and has managed, catalogued and attended to all SIMA film entries since day one.