SIMA 2021 OPEN CALL: Filmmakers For Social Change

LOS ANGELES (September 8, 2020) – Amidst a global pandemic and national civil rights movement calling for justice and reform from the streets to the senate—SIMA has opened their 9th annual awards and is calling for stories that capture the massive paradigm shifts taking place across the world. Films, production companies, and funders who raise important questions about the state of our past, present and future, and inspire viewers to reflect on the meaning and potential of social activism and transformation, are invited to submit their work by October 28, 2020. 

As the world’s most renowned global documentary awards competition and curator in the social impact film space, the Annual Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) have supported and celebrated over 2,500 content creators, across 140 countries, that challenge the status quo and redefine the world’s creative boundaries through unparalleled transparency and integrity.

Since 2012, SIMA’s work at the intersection of film and activism has brought an international spotlight to some of the world’s most pressing social issues, including those often overlooked and/or underserved by other festivals and awards.

“SIMA 2021 is on track to be one of our greatest years in storytelling yet, as audiences and creators around the world begin to open their eyes—and point their lens—at the injustices taking place in their very own backyards. From social, political, racial, and gender inequality to corruption, capitalism, immigration, and fundamental human rights—the list goes on, as do the growing petitions and global calls-to-action demanding better representation and a brighter future. These are the stories that will change the world as we know it and SIMA is ready to catalyze them into action. We cannot wait to see your work!” — Daniela Kon, SIMA Founder & Executive Director

Calling for the world’s highest standard of social impact storytelling—SIMA is seeking Feature and Short Documentaries, Impact Videos, VR + 360, and Production Companies whose body of work demonstrates outstanding achievements in creating impact through diverse formats of visual storytelling. Funders (both Corporate Entities and Grant-Makers/ Foundations) whose support of social impact media is uniquely empowering today’s content creators on the forefront of social change are also called on to submit. 

Submissions will compete for awards, cash prizes, and media features. Selected productions with potential to inspire change will be invited into SIMA’s sought after year-round distribution programs that bring stories to audiences, communities and classrooms around the globe, democratizing access to social issue filmmaking with an emphasis on what happens after the credits roll: i.e. impact through community engagement, coalition building and education.

Learn more and submit at no later than October 28, 2020.


Feature Documentaries, Short Documentaries, Virtual Reality (VR)/ 360 Films, Impact Videos: Innovations and Creative Advocacy, Production Companies, and Funders.


September 23, 2020

October 14, 2020

October 28, 2020

September 8, 2020

January 12, 2021

February 10, 2021


SIMA’s Sponsors are committed to the collaborative effort of honoring the most thought-provoking documentary films of our time. The 9th Annual SIMA Awards are powered by VICE ImpactHuman Sustainability ProjectCTLSTThe Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC)WITNESS and SEED & SPARK.


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