LOS ANGELES (January 12, 2021) – SIMA 2021 finalists represent the future of filmmaking. 

The one thing that distinguishes humankind from all other known species is the ability to tell stories. To imagine them, to recollect them, and to share them. Our civilization exists based on the stories we tell one another. They are a bond that holds us together, and what SIMA’s 2021 finalists show us is that the power of storytelling has never been more apparent. It can impact lives, rewrite history, and transform societies before our very eyes. 

From hospital walls to voting booths; from the streets to the senate; from Chechnya to Sierra Leone; this year’s SIMA Finalists give us incredible—one-of-a-kind—x-ray vision into the state of our contemporary world.

“We are witnessing extraordinary times. Communities are coming together like never before to take a collective stance against injustice, against the exploitation of our planet, against the way the crimes of history of discrimination and oppression have gone unpunished with no lessons learned. SIMA 2021 filmmakers are directing their lenses courageously towards those that are saying “enough!’ We are honored to amplify these vital voices.”

— Daniela Kon, SIMA Founder & Executive Director

These finalists represent the future of filmmaking because the future of filmmaking is what SIMA has celebrated and promoted all along: honest, raw, diverse, creative, and deeply personal stories that bring us face-to-face with our most pressing global issues. 

For nearly a decade, the finalists that pass through SIMA have been exposing the injustices happening across our world—inviting audiences to steady their gaze. Although uncompromising in its ability to wreak havoc, 2020 has without a doubt gifted us this: more people are watching, listening, voting, and taking action to create a more equitable and just world than ever before. 

Storytelling has always been an effective vehicle for change and this year’s SIMA 2021 finalists have set the gold standard for what that responsibility means. With captivating storytelling and remarkable access, these diverse and courageous filmmakers not only amplify the stories of marginalized communities and individuals, but inspire and empower audiences to question and rise up against the oppressive systems that hold our society hostage from reaching its full potential.

The SIMA 2021 Finalists are now eligible for entry into SIMA’s global community screening series, SIMA X, and online education platform, SIMA Classroom, which reaches over 75,000 students around the globe. Now moving on to the final round of judging, they will compete for awards and cash prizes of up to $1,000 per category. Winners will be announced on 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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